Skip to main content

Full text of "Sacred poems of the nineteenth century"

W 'R£D fOEMS 

F-46M ^Century 





FROM THE LIBRARY OF 
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D. 

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO 

THE LIBRARY OF 

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 











K*-tyLs j c ipz. 



/ 



I 



SACRED POEMS 

OF Ti 

XIXth CENTURY 



THE CHOICE BOOKS 



THE CHOICE BOOKS 

OUR VILLAGE 

Mary Russell Mitford 

THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD 

Oliver Goldsmith 

SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY 

Joseph Addison 

THE CROWN OF WILD OLIVE 

John Raskin 

POEMS OF RALPH WALDO 
EMERSON 

SACRED POEMS OF THE XIX 
CENTURY Kate A. Wright 

DAINTY POEMS OF THE XIX 
CENTURY Kate A. Wright 

Other volumes will be announced later 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Princeton Theological Seminary Library 



http://archive.org/details/sasofninOOwrig 










*fc 



John Newman 



<gcs* CF ™^ 



SACRED POEM& 15 W34 

OF THEW^ 

NINETEENTH CENTURY 




Selectedijy 
KATE A. WRIGHT 

Compiler of "Dainty Poems of the XIX Century" 
"Sweet Notes from Many Voices" etc. 




NEW YORK: DODGE 
PUBLISHING COMPANY 

220 EAST TWENTY-THIRD ST. 



TO THE READER 

WHEN engaged in selecting materials 
for my " Dainty Poems of the Nine- 
teenth Century," which consists of 
secular Poems only, I set aside many which 
expressed a sincere and elevated religious 
sentiment in language likely to be acceptable 
to all readers, irrespective of sect. Friends 
urged me to complete and publish a collection 
of them, and the marked success of my book 
referred to above encouraged me to act on 
their advice : hence the present volume. 

As in my other collection, I could not in this 
volume have included so many choice poems, 
if I had not been favoured by the permission 
of Authors and Publishers to make extracts 
from their Copyright works, and the reader 
will perceive by the beauty of these extracts, 
how deeply I am indebted to them for this 
permission, which has given an excellence to 
the collection, which it otherwise could not have 
had. The book must be regarded as containing 
only cabinet specimens of the writings of the 
different authors, for a fuller enjoyment of which 
I would refer the reader to their published works. 
The following is a list of the Authors and 
Publishers who have so kindly favoured me : — 

Sir Edwin Arnold and Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co. 
Messrs. Macmillan & Co., for the late Mr. Matthew 
Arnold. 

7 



8 TO THE READER 

Mr. Alfred Austin. 

Mrs. \V. Nicholson for the late Mr. Edward Banks. 

Mr. Arthur Christopher Benson and Mr. John Lane. 

Rev. R. S. Brooke, D.D. 

Rev. R. \V. Buckley, D.D. 

Miss Jane Bushby for the late Mrs. Anne S. Bushbv. 

Messrs. Macmillan for the late Mr. Arthur Hugh Clough. 

Mr. Austin Dobson. 

Mrs. Edward Dowden. 

Professor Edward Dowden. 

Messrs. Blackwood & Sons for the late George Eliot. 

Miss Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler. 

Mr. Norman Gale. 

Mr. Richard le Gallienne. 

Messrs. James Nisbet & Co. for the late Miss Frances 

Ridley Havergal. 
Mr. Alfred Hayes. 

The late Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. 
Rev. John A. Jennings. 
Miss E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake). 
Messrs. Chatto & Windus for Dr. George MacDonald. 
B. M. 
Miss Jane G. Matheson for the late Rev. George 

Matheson, D.D. 
Mrs. Louise Chandler Moulton, also for the late Mr. 

Philip Bourke Marston. 
Mr. Gilbert Parker. 
Sir Noel Paton. 

Major A. W. Pollock for the late Rev. T. B. Pollock. 
Rev. H. I. D. Ryder and Messrs. M. H. Gill & Son. 
Mr. Elliot Stock. 

Mr. John Lane for the late Lord de Tabley. 
Mr. A. C. Trench for the late Archbishop Trench. 
Mr. Aubrey de Vere. 

Kate A. Wright 



SACRED POEMS OF 
THE XlXth CENTURY 



SARAH FLOWER ADAMS 

NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE 



N 



EARER, my God, to Thee, 
Nearer to Thee ! 
E'en though it be a cross 
That raiseth me ; 
Still all my song would be, 
Nearer, my God, to Thee, 
Nearer to Thee ! 



Though like the wanderer, 

The sun gone down, 
Darkness be over me, 

My rest a stone ; 
Yet in my dreams I'd be 
Nearer, my God, to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee ! 

There let the way appear 

Steps unto Heaven ; 
All that Thou send'st to me 

In mercy given ; 
Angels to beckon me 
Nearer, my God, to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee ! 

Then with my waking thoughts 
Bright with Thy praise, 
11 



12 SACRED POEMS 

Out of my stony griefs 

Bethel 111 raise ; 
So by my woes to be 
Nearer, my God, to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee ! 

Or if on joyful wing 
Cleaving the sky, 

Sun, moon, and stars forgot. 
Upwards I fly, 

Still all my song shall be. 

Nearer,, my God, to thee, 
Nearer to Thee ! 



SIR EDWIN ARNOLD 

EXTRACTS FROM "THE LIGHT OF 
THE WORLD" 



i 



T may be this shall hap ! How should I 

know ? 
Yet do we know, who loved and followed 

Him, 
Never such hard words fell from those true 

lips, 
Which would not have the young man call 

Him good, 
Replying, 4 None is good ! Not one, save God ! * 
Love's glory — not Love's gore — redeems the 

Worlds ! 
The gateway of His Kingdom He did shut 
On them who named His name, but let the 

sick 
Lie helpless ; and the naked go unclad ; 
The fatherless uncared for ; prisoners 
Unvisited ; the woe-begones of earth 
Unsuccoured ; — vainly dreaming to love God 
Who did not love their brothers ; those who 

held 
Talents, and wrapped them in the napkin ; 

churls 
Who — pardoned of great debts — took by the 

throat 
A fellow-servant for some little due, 
And narrowly exacted all ; unkind, 

13 



14 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Forgetting the Forgiven But for Faith 
Which — if it could — would cling ; and — if it 

could — 
Would comprehend ; and, comprehending not, 
Stumbled, yet loved and strove, — to that He 

flung 
The golden doors wide open, crying : * Come, 
Thrice blessed of my Father ! what ye did, 
In that sweet secret doing of true heart, 
Unto the least of these My brethren, ye 
Have done it unto Me ! ' " 

• * * * * 

" Wherefore, if there live 
Brothers too low to love, too base to serve, 
Too evil to forgive ; if aught in Man 
So abject seem and so to brute allied 
Nice natures scorn the kinship ; — think that 

Christ 
Knew also these, and measured these, and 

made 
His daily sojourn 'midst them ; and was swift 
To succour them and cheer ; and bore with 

them, 
Never once holding any lowly soul 
Less dear to Heaven than high and saintly 

souls, 
Never conceding once that one stray sheep — 
Lean, foul, and fleeceless in the thorns of Sin — 
Should die, unfolded, for the safe flock's sake. 
Thus, then, weakly I strive to answer thee : 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 15 

Jesus our Lord hath lived and died and lived ; 
And, now, — in Suns, and Stars, and amplest 

Heaven, 
When Angels name us they must name Him, 

too, 
Since He was Man — is Man. And for His sake 
No more 'tis hard to love what He hath loved, 
Nor strange to tread, in footmarks of His feet, 
This path which leads, by love of Man, to 

where — 
Through Earthly Service rendered, duties 

wrought 
In meekness, purity, and charity — 
Always our Helper, He awaits. Awaits 
To tell what best He knew — the secret deep 
How the Divine hides in the Undivine, 
How near to good is evil. Waits to say : 

* Enter ye in, who nursed Me, lying sick, 
And fed Me, being hungered ; gave Me robes 
When I was naked, wiped My tears away 

In heavy-hearted days, and pitied Me, 

And helped Me, cast in prison with the thieves ! 

And, when we answer : ' Oh, dear Lord ! but, 

how 
Saw we Thee sick, or hungered, or unclad, 
Or sad, or cast in prison ? ' Christ shall say : 

* Inasmuch as ye did it to the least 

Of these My brothers, it was done to Me ! 
Aye ! 'twas to Me, — and 'twas to God through 
Me— 



16 SACRED POEMS 

Ye gave that cup of water ! I lay sick 
With him ye succoured ; I was languishing 
In prison with the broken hearts ye cheered ; 
That was My nakedness ye covered up 
Clothing My Poor ; I was the babe ye fed ; 
I was that widow whom ye visited ; 
Share My joy now, who helped My Father 

then 
Enter ye in ! " 



MATTHEW ARNOLD 

PROGRESS 

THE Master stood upon the mount, and 
taught. 
He saw a fire in His disciples' eyes ; 
u The old law," they said, M is wholly come to 
nought, 

Behold the new world rise ! " 

1 Was it," the Lord then said, " with scorn ye 

saw 
The olcj law observed by Scribes and 

Pharisees ? 
I say unto you, see ye keep that law 
More faithfully than these ! 

44 Too hasty heads for ordering worlds, alas ! 
Think not that I to annul the law have will'd ; 
No jot, no tittle from the law shall pass, 
Till all have been fulfiird;' 

So Christ said eighteen hundred years ago. 
But what then shall be said to those to-day, 
Who cry aloud to lay the old world low 
To clear the new world's way? 



1. 



Religious fervours ! ardour misapplied ! 
Hence, hence," they cry, " ye do but keep man 
blind ! 

2 17 



18 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

But keep him self-immersed, preoccupied, 
And lame the active mind ! " 

Ah ! from the old world let someone answer 

give : 
" Scorn ye this world, their tears, their inward 

cares ? 
I say unto you, see that your souls live 
A deeper life than theirs ! 

" Say ye : ' The spirit of man has found new 

roads, 
And we must leave the old faiths and walk 

therein ? ' — 
Leave then the Cross as ye have left carved 

gods, 

But guard the fire within ! 

" Bright else and fast the stream of life may 

roll, 
And no man may the other's hurt behold ; 
Yet each will have one anguish — his own soul 
Which perishes of cold." 

Here let that voice make end ; then, let a 

strain, 
From a far lonelier distance, like the wind 
Be heard, floating through heaven, and fill 

again 

These men's profoundest mind : 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 19 

M Children of men ! the unseen Power, whose 

eye 
For ever doth accompany mankind, 
Hath look'd on no religion scornfully 
That men did ever find. 

M Which has not taught weak wills how much 

they can ? 
Which has not fall'n on the dry heart like rain ? 
Which has not cried to sunk, self-weary man : 
Thou must be born again I 

" Children of men ! not that your age excel 
In pride of life the ages of your sires, 
But that ye think clear, feel deep, bear fruit well, 
The Friend of man desires." 



SELF-DEPENDENCE 

WEARY of myself, and sick of asking 
What I am, and what I ought to 
be, 
At this vessel's prow I stand, which bears me 
Forwards, forwards, o'er the starlit sea. 

And a iook of passionate desire 

O'er the sea and to the stars I send : 

u Ye who from my childhood up have calm'd me, 

Calm me, ah, compose me to the end i 



20 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

M Ah, once more," I cried, " ye stars, ye waters, 
On my heart your mighty charm renew ; 
Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you, 
Feel my soul becoming vast like you ! " 

From the intense, clear, star-sown vault of 

heaven, 
Over the lit sea's unquiet way, 
In rustling night-air came the answer : 
" Wouldst thou be as these are ? Live as they. 

41 Unaffrighted by the silence round them, 
Undistracted by the sights they see, 
These demand not that the things without them 
Yield them love, amusement, sympathy. 

" And with joy the stars perform their shining, 
And the sea its long moon-silver' d roll ; 
For self-poised they live, nor pine with noting 
All the fever of some differing soul. 

" Bounded by themselves, and unregardful 
In what state God's other works may be, 
In their own tasks all their powers pouring, 
These attain the mighty life you see.'' 

O air-born voice ! long since, severely clear, 
A cry like thine in mine own heart I hear : 
" Resolve to be thyself ; and know, that he 
Who finds himself, loses his misery ! " 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 21 

STAGIRIUS 

Stagirius was a young - monk to whom St. Chrysostom 
addressed three books, and of whom those books give an 
account. They will be found in the first volume of the 
Benedictine edition of St. Chrysostom's works. 

THOU, who dost dwell alone — 
Thou, who dost know thine own — 
Thou, to whom all are known 
From the cradle to the grave — 

Save, oh ! save. 
From the world's temptations, 

From tribulations, 
From that fierce anguish 
Wherein we languish, 
From that torpor deep 
Wherein we lie asleep, 
Heavy as death, cold as the grave 
Save, oh ! save. 

When the soul, growing clearer, 

Sees God no nearer ; 
When the soul, mounting higher, 

To God comes no nigher ; 
But the arch-fiend Pride 
Mounts at her side, 
Foiling her high emprise, 
Sealing her eagle eyes, 
And, when she fain would soar, 
Makes idols to adore. 



22 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Changing the pure emotion 
Of her high devotion, 
To a skin-deep sense 
Of her own eloquence ; 
Strong to deceive, strong to enslave— 
Save, oh ! save. 

From the ingrain'd fashion 
Of this earthly nature 
That mars thy creature ; 
From grief that is but passion, 
From mirth that is but feigning, 
From tears that bring no healing, 
From wild and weak complaining, 
Thine old strength revealing 
Save, oh ! save. 
From doubt, where all is double ; 
Where wise men are not strong, 
Where comfort turns to trouble, 
Where just men suffer wrong ; 
Where sorrow treads on joy, 
Where sweet things soonest cloy, 
Where faiths are built on dust, 
Where love is half mistrust, 
Hungry, and barren, and sharp as the sea- 
Oh ! set us free. 

O let the false dream fly 
Where our sick souls do lie 
Tossing continually ! 



NLNETEENTH CENTURY 23 

O where thy voice doth come 

Let all doubts be dumb, 

Let all words be mild, 

All strifes be reconciled, 

All pains beguiled ! 
Light bring no blindness, 
Love no unkindness, 
Knowledge no ruin, 
Fear no undoing ! 
From the cradle to the grave, 

Save, oh ! save. 



EAST LONDON 

TWAS August, and the fierce sun over- 
head 
Smote on the squalid streets of 
Bethnal Green, 
And the pale weaver, through his windows 

seen 
In Spitalfields, look'd thrice dispirited. 

I met a preacher there I knew, and said : 
" 111 and oerwork'd, how fare you in this 

scene ? n — 
41 Bravely ! M said he ; u for I of late have been 
Much cheer' d with thoughts of Christ, the 

living bread." 



24 SACRED POEMS 

O human soul ! as long as thou canst so 
Set up a mark of everlasting light, 
Above the howling senses' ebb and flow, 

To cheer thee, and to right thee if thou roam — 
Not with lost toil thou labourest through the 

night t 
Thou mak'st the heaven thou hop'st indeed 

thy home. 

IMMORTALITY 

FOIL'D by our fellow-men, depress'd, 
outworn, 
We leave the brutal world to take its 
way, 
And, Patience ! in another life, we say, 
The zvorld shall be thrust dozvn, and xve 
upborne. 

And will not, then, the immortal armies scorn 
The world's poor, routed leavings ? or will they, 
Who fail'd under the heat of this life's day, 
Support the fervours of the heavenly morn ? 

No, no ! the energy of life may be 
Kept on after the grave, but not begun ; 
And he who flagg'd not in the earthly strife, 

From strength to strength advancing — only he, 
His soul well-knit, and all his battles won, 
Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life. 



MRS. C. F. ALEXANDER 

THE CA VE OF MACHPELAH 

"There they buried Abraham, and Sarah his wife, there 
they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried 
Leah." — Gen. xlix. 31. 

CALM is it in the dim cathedral cloister, 
Where lie the dead all couched in 
marble rare, 
Where the shades thicken, and the breath 
hangs moister 
Than in the sunlight air : 

Where the chance ray that makes the carved 
stone whiter, 

Tints with a crimson, or a violet light 
Some pale old Bishop with his staff and mitre, 

Some stiff crusading knight ! 

Sweet is it where the little graves fling shadows 
In the green churchyard, on the shaven 
grass, 
And a faint cowslip fragrance from the 
meadows 
O'er the low wall doth pass ! 

More sweet — more calm in that fair valleys 
bosom, 
The burial place in Ephrons pasture ground, 

25 



26 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Where the oil-olive shed her snowy blossom, 
And the red grape was found, 

When the great pastoral prince with love 
undying 
Rose up in anguish from the face of 
death, 
And weighed the silver shekels for its buying 
Before the sons of Heth. 

Here, when the measure of his days was num- 
bered 
— Days few, and evil in this vale of tears ! — 
At Sarah's side the faithful Patriarch slum- 
bered, 
An old man full of years : 

Here, holy Isaac, meek of heart and gentle, 
And the fair maid who came to him from 
far, 

And the sad sire who knew all throes parental, 
And meek-eyed Leah, are ; 

She rests not here, the beautiful of feature, 
For whom her Jacob wrought his years 
twice o'er, 
And deemed them but as one, for that fair 
creature, 
So dear the love he bore ! 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 27 

Nor Israel's son beloved, 1 who brought him 
sleeping 
With a long pomp of woe to Canaan's 
shade, 
Till all the people wondered at the weeping 
By the Egyptians made. 

Like roses from the same tree gathered 
yearly, 
And flung together in one vase to keep, — 
Some but not all who loved so well, and 
dearly, 
Lie here in quiet sleep. 

What though the Moslem mosque be in the 
valley, 
Though faithless hands have sealed the 
sacred cave, 
And the red Prophet's children shout " El 
Allah," 
Over the Hebrew's grave : 

Yet a day cometh when those white walls 
shaking 

Shall give again to light the living dead, 
And Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, re-awaking 

Spring from their rocky bed. 

1 " And the bones of Joseph buried they in Shechem." — 
Joshua xxiv. 32. 



28 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

THE CREATION 

11 Thus the Heavens and the earth were finished, and 
all the host of them." — Gen. ii. i. 



Y 



OUNG heart, impatient of thy powers, 
Why wilt thou fret to know 

That knowledge comes with weary hours, 
And heavy step, and slow? 



That each thing great in its degree 

In toil and care begins, 
And no perfection here may be 

But that which labour wins? 



Perchance 'twas writ to do thee shame. 
That He whom angels praise 

Paused o'er His fair creation's frame, 
And lingered six long days. 

His word at once had hung them there. 
Planet, and star, and sun ; — 

Perchance to teach thee patient care, 
He made them one by one. 

Think how the great world silent lay 

A void and formless place, 
Gods Spirit brooding far away 

Over the water's face, — 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 29 

Till bursting on that darkness wide 

The glorious light had birth, 
And in her beauty and her pride, 

He made the fair young earth. 

Three days she hung all cold and still, 

Wrappd in that sunless light, 
No golden lustre on the hill, 

No silver moon at night. 

God made the sun, and in his ray 
Sprang flowers by stream and meadow, 

On all her heights the sunlight lay, 
And on her sward, the shadow. — 

The graceful moonbeams touched her sod 

With slanting silver bars, 
" Shouted for joy the sons of God, 

And sang the morning stars." 

Slowly He wrought, and duly set 

All things above, below ; — 
Wilt thou, His creature, chide and fret 

If thine advance be slow ? 

Patience, and zeal, and toil He asks — 
Then let thine heart be strong, 

Nor weary of thy lowly tasks, 
Because the time is long. 



30 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

RAHAB 

" By faith Rahab perished not with them that believed not, 
when she had received the spies with peace." — Heb. xi. 31. 



R 



ISE up, rise up, O Rahab ; 
And bind the scarlet thread 
On the casement of thy chamber, 
When the battle waxeth red. 



From the double feast of Gilgal, 
From Jordan's cloven wave, 

They come with sound of trumpet 
With banner and with glaive. 

Death to the foes of Israel ! 

But joy to thee, and thine, 
To her who saved the spies of God, 

Who shows the scarlet line ! 

Twas in the time of harvest, 

When the corn lay on the earth, 

That first she bound the signal 
And bade the spies go forth. 

For a cry came to her spirit 
From the far Egyptian coasts, 

And a dread was in her bosom 
Of the Mighty Lord of Hosts. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 31 

And the faith of saints and martyrs 
Lay brave at her heart's core, 

As some inward pulse were throbbing 
Of the kingly line she bore. 

As there comes a sudden fragrance 
In the last long winter's day, 

From the paly silken primrose 
Or the violet by the way. 

And we pause, and look around us, 
And we feel through every vein 

That the tender spring is coming 
And the summer's rosy reign. 

In the twilight of our childhood, 
When youth's shadows lie before, 

There come thoughts into our bosoms 
Like the spies to Rahab's door. 

And we scarcely know their value, 
Or their power for good or ill, 

But we feel they are God's angels, 
And they seek us at His will. 

And we tremble at their presence, 
And we blush to let them forth, 

In some word of tender feeling, 
Or some deed of Christian worth. 



32 SACRED POEMS 

Yet those guests perchance may witness 

In that awful battle day, 
When the foe is on the threshold, 

And the gates of life give way : 

When the soul that seeks for safety. 

Shall behold but one red sign — 
But the blood-drops of Atonement 

On the cross of Love Divine ! 



ALFRED AUSTIN 

IS LIFE WORTH L1VLXG ? 

I 



i 



S life worth living ? Yes, so long 

As Spring revives the year, 
And hails us with the cuckoo's song, 

To show that she is here ; 
So long as May of April takes, 

In smiles and tears, farewell, 
And windflowers dapple all the brakes, 

And primoses the dell ; 
While children in the woodlands yet 

Adorn their little laps 
With ladysmock and violet, 

And daisy-chain their caps ; 
While over orchard daffodils 

Cloud-shadows float and fleet, 
And ouzel pipes and laverock trills, 

And young lambs buck and bleat ; 
So long as that which bursts the bud 

And swells and tunes the rill, 
Makes springtime in the maidens blood, 

Life is worth living still. 



II 

Life's not worth living ! Come with me, 
Now that, through vanishing veil, 

3 33 



34 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Shimmers the dew on lawn and lea, 

And milk foams in the pail ; 
Now that June's sweltering sunlight bathes 

With sweat the striplings lithe, 
As fall the long straight-scented swathes 

Oyer the crescent scythe ; 
Now that the throstle never stops 

His self-sufficing strain, 
And woodbine-trails festoon the copse. 

And eglantine the lane ; 
Now rustic labour seems as sweet 

As leisure, and blythe herds 
Wend homeward with unweary feet, 

Caroling like the birds ; 
Now all, except the lover's vow, 

And nightingale, is still ; 
Here, in the twilight hour, allow, 

Life is worth living still. 



Ill 



When Summer, lingering half-forlorn 

On Autumn loves to lean, 
And fields of slowly yellowing corn 

Are girt by woods still green ; 
When hazel-nuts wax brown and plump, 

And apples rosy-red, 
And the owlet hoots from hollow stump, 

And the dormouse makes its bed ; 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 35 

When crammed are all the granary floors. 

And the Hunters moon is bright, 
And life again is sweet indoors, 

And logs again alight ; 
Aye, even when the houseless wind 

Waileth through cleft and chink, 
And in the twilight maids grow kind, 

And jugs are filled and clink ; 
When children clasp their hands and pray T 

" Be done Thy heavenly will ! n 
Who doth not lift his voice and say, 

44 Life is worth living still " ? 



IV 



Is life worth living? Yes, so long 

As there is wrong to right, 
Wail of the weak against the strong, 

Or tyranny to fight ; 
Long as there lingers gloom to chase, 

Or streaming tear to dry, 
One kindred woe, one sorrowing face 

That smiles as we draw nigh ; 
Long as at tale of anguish swells 

The heart, and lids grow wet, 
And at the sound of Christmas bells 

We pardon and forget ; 
So long as Faith with Freedom reigns, 

And loyal Hope survives 



36 SACRED POEMS 

And gracious Charity remains 

To leaven lowly lives ; 
While there is one untrodden tract 

For Intellect or Will, 
And men are free to think and act 

Life is worth living still. 



Not care to live while English homes 

Nestle in English trees, 
And England's Trident-Sceptre roams 

Her territorial seas ! 
Not live while English songs are sung 

Wherever blows the wind, 
And England's laws and England's tongue 

Enfranchise half mankind ! 
So long as in Pacific main, 

Or on Atlantic strand, 
Our kin transmit the parent strain, 

And love the Mother-Land ; 
So long as in this ocean Realm, 

Victoria and her Line 
Retain the heritage of the helm, 

By loyalty divine ; 
So long as flashes English steel, 

And English trumpets shrill, 
He is dead already who doth not feel 

Life is worth living still. 



EDWARD BANKS 

ON A GRA VE, NOT OF THIS CENTURY 

u Sacred to the memory of Oliver Barwood, also of Joan 
his Wife." 



T 



HEY liv'd in a far generation ; 

The stone hath a leaning of age — 
A lichens matured incrustation 

Has clouded the chisel-wrought page. 



You picture them beings of quaintness, 
(When drawn to the transient theme), 

But, at best, indecision and faintness 
Will cover the hues of your dream. 

Ah, what of the once eager musing 
As Power was added to Youth — 

The Purpose of Life interfusing 
Simplicity, Hope, and Truth ? 

Ah, what of the Love-dawn's confession ? 

That made their young spirits as light, 
Thro' magnificent earnest expression, 

As thine in the ball-room to-night : 

And left them entranc'd with emotion, 
Like delicate mosses that wave 

To the passionate pulse of the ocean, 
Afar in a luminous cave. 

37 



38 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Alas for the wonderful story, 

If such may go down to the dust ! 

That the perfected wealth of its glory 
Is future, oh courage and trust : 

The chrysalid's transfiguration 

Is never a meaningless law, 

For the work of the God of creation 

Admitteth not failure and flaw. 

(1876.) 

A CAROL FOR CHRISTMAS EVE 



D 



RAPED in frost, the evening deepens; 

Gather, gather round the fire ! 
We will touch the early presence 
Of the morn, and then retire. 
From the massy ivied grandeur 
Of the grey cathedral, swells 
Music to the coming morrow, 
In a peal of happy bells. 
Sacred hours ! delay no longer, 

Shed the blessing that ye bring, 
Breathe abroad the love that lightened 
Round the cradle of the King. 

Long ago, the herald beacon 
Glimmer'd over Eastern lands, 

And a strange and sudden lustre 
Lighted up the desert sands ; 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 39 

Men that moved amid the darkness. 
When they caught the gleam afar, 
Read the tidings of salvation 
In the splendour of the star. 
Sacred hours ! delay no longer, 

Shed the blessing that ye bring, 
Breathe abroad the love that lighten'd 
Round the cradle of the King. 

Faintly fell a golden whisper 

Thro' the stillness of the morn, 
Joyful words of blest assurance, 

" Unto us a child is born : " 
And a sweet seraphic anthem 

From the vault of heaven came, 
Voices of unnumber'd angels, 
Hymning the Almighty's name. 
Sacred hours ! delay no longer, 

Shed the blessing that ye bring, 
Breathe abroad the love that lighten'd 
Round the cradle of the King. 

Time is flowing onward, onward 

In a swift and chilly stream ; 
Change effaces all we cherish, 

Earth is passing like a dream ; 
O the great eternal Christmas ! 

O the rapture ! when we meet, 
Members of a scatter' d household, 

In a circle all complete. 



40 SACRED POEMS 

Sacred moments ! cease to linger, 
Sad and starless is the night, 

Melancholy mists enfold us, 
We are longing for the light. 



ARTHUR CHRISTOPHER 
BENSON 

EVENSONG 



T 



HRUSH, sing clear, for the spring is 

here : 
Sing, for the summer is near, is near, 



All day long thou hast plied thy song, 
Hardly hid from the hurrying throng : 

Now the shade of the trees is laid 
Down the meadow and up the glade : 

Now when the air grows cool and rare 
Birds of the cloister fall to prayer : 

Here is the bed of the patient dead, 
Shoulder by shoulder, head by head. 

Sweet bells swing in the tower, and ring 
Men to worship before their King. 

See they come as the grave bells hum, 
Restless voices awhile are dumb : 

More and more on the sacred floor 
Feet that linger about the door : 

41 



42 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Sweet sounds swim through the vaulting dim, 
Psalm and Canticle, Vesper hymn. 

That is the way that mortals pray : 
Which is the sweeter ? brown bird, say ! 

Which were best for me ? both are blest ; 
Sing thy sweetest and leave the rest. 

ONE BY ONE 



o 



NE by one, as evening closes, 

Droop the flowers that drank the 
sun ; 
See, they sleep, my weary roses, 
One by one : 



Never did I bend above you, 

O my flowers, while all was bright ; 
There is time, I said, to love you 
Ere the night. 

You were neither watched nor tended, 
Fevered thoughts were mine instead, 
Now the weary day is ended ; — 
You are dead. 

Now I come in dumb disorder, 

Seek and search, in wild regret. 
If one rose in bed or border 
Wakens vet. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 43 

Nay, they slumber till the morrow ! 
Hasten homewards : bar the gate. 
Through the cold dark hours of sorrow 
I will wait. 

WHEN PUNCTUAL DAWN 

WHEN punctual dawn came o'er the 
hiii, 
In orange veiled and tender blue, 
Wan in the dark field gleamed the rill, 
The dusky hedge was gemmed with dew. 

And patient sheep from folded feet 
Rose one by one, alert for food, 
And one by one, so small and sweet, 
The flattened grass-stems stirred and stood. 

And I too rose, and stepping down 
Drank deep the invigorating air, 
And scanned the little sleeping town, 
And thanked my God that I was there. 



REV. THOMAS BINNEY 

ETERNAL LIGHT 



E 



TERNAL Light ! eternal Light ! 
How pure the soul must be, 
When, placed within Thy searching 
sight, 
It shrinks not, but with calm delight, 
Can live and look on Thee ! 



The spirits that surround Thy throne 

May bear the burning bliss ; 
But that is surely theirs alone, 
Since they have never, never known 
A fallen world like this. 



O ! how shall I, whose native sphere 

Is dark, whose mind is dim, 
Before the Ineffable appear, 
And on my naked spirit bear 
The uncreated beam ? 



There is a way for man to rise 

To that sublime abode : — 
An offering and a sacrifice, 
A Holy Spirit's energies, 
An Advocate with God : — 

44 



SACRED POEMS 45 

These, these prepare us for the sight 

Of Holiness above : 
The sons of ignorance and night 
May dwell in the Eternal Light 

Through the Eternal Love ! 



DR. BONAR 

BE TRUE 



T 



HOU must be true thyself, 

If thou the truth woulclst teach 
Thy soul must overflow, if thou 
Another's soul wouldst reach ! 
It needs the overflow of heart 
To give the lips full speech. 

Think truly, and thy thoughts 
Shall the world's famine feed ; 

Speak truly, and each word of thine 
Shall be a fruitful seed ; 

Live truly, and thy life shall be 
A great and noble creed. 



46 



JANE BORTHWICK 

REST, WEARY SOUL 

REST, weary soul ! 
The penalty is borne, the ransom paid 
For all thy sins full satisfaction made; 
Strive not to do thyself what Christ has 

done, 
Claim the free gift, and make the joy thine 

own ; 
No more by pangs of guilt and fear distrest, 
Rest, sweetly rest ! 

Rest, weary heart, 
From all thy silent griefs, and secret pain, 
Thy profitless regrets, and longings vain ; 
Wisdom and love have ordered all the past, 
All shall be blessedness and light at last ; 
Cast off the cares that have so long opprest ; 

Rest, sweetly rest ! 

Rest, weary head ! 
Lie down to slumber in the peaceful tomb : 
Light from above has broken through its 

gloom ; 
Here, in the place where once thy Saviour 

lay, 
Where He shall wake thee on a future day 
Like a tired child upon its mother's breast, 
Rest, sweetly rest ! 

47 



48 SACRED POEMS 

Rest, spirit free ! 
In the green pastures of the heavenly snore, 
Where sin and sorrow can approach no more, 
With all the flock by the Good Shepherd fed, 
Beside the streams of Life eternal led, 
For ever with thy God and Saviour blest, 

Rest, sweetly rest ! 



ANNE BRONTE 

IN MEMORY OF A HAPPY DAY IN 
FEBRUARY 



B 



LESSED be Thou for all the joy 
My soul has felt to-day ! 
Oh, let its memory stay with me, 
And never pass away ! 



1 was alone, for those I loved 
Were far away from me ; 
The sun shone on the withered grass, 
The wind blew fresh and free. 

Was it the smile of early spring 
That made my bosom glow ? 
Tvvas sweet ; but neither sun nor wind 
Could cheer my spirit so. 

Was it some feeling of delight 

All vague and undefined ? 

No ; 'twas a rapture deep and strong, 

Expanding in the mind. 

Was it a sanguine view of life, 

And all its transient bliss, 

A hope of bright prosperity ? 

Oh, no ! it was not this. 

4 49 



50 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

It was a glimpse of truth divine 
Unto my spirit given, 
Illumined by a ray of light 
That shone direct from heaven. 

I felt there was a God on high, 
By whom all things were made ; 
I saw His wisdom and His power 
In all His works displayed. 

But most throughout the moral world, 
I saw His glory shine ; 
I saw His wisdom infinite, 
His mercy all divine. 

Deep secrets of His providence, 
In darkness long concealed, 
Unto the vision of my soul 
Were graciously revealed. 

But while I wondered and adored 
His Majesty divine, 
I did not tremble at His power : 
I felt that God was mine. 

I knew that my Redeemer lived ; 
I did not fear to die ; 
Full sure that I should rise again 
To immortality. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 51 

I longed to view that bliss divine, 
Which eye hath never seen ; 
Like Moses, I would see His face 
Without the veil between. 



THE NARROW WAY 



B 



ELI EVE not those who say 
The upward path is smooth, 
Lest thou shouldst stumble in the 



way, 
And faint before the truth. 



It is the only road 

Unto the realms of joy ; 

But he who seeks that blest abode 

Must all his powers employ. 

Bright hopes and pure delight 
Upon his course may beam, 
And there amid the sternest heights, 
The sweetest flowerets gleam. 

On all her breezes borne, 
Earth yields no scents like those ; 
But he that dares not grasp the thorn 
Should never crave the rose. 



52 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Arm — arm thee for the fight ! 

Cast useless loads away ; 

Watch through the darkest hours of night ; 

Toil through the hottest day. 

Crush pride into the dust, 
Or thou must needs be slack ; 
And trample down rebellious lust, 
Or it will hold thee back. 

Seek not thy honour here ; 

Waive pleasure and renown ; 

The world's dread scoff undaunted bear, 

And face its deadliest frown. 

To labour and to love, 

To pardon and endure, 

To lift thy heart to God above, 

And keep thy conscience pure ; 

Be this thy constant aim, 

Thy hope, thy chief delight ; 

What matter who should whisper blame 

Or who should scorn or slight ? 

What matter, if thy God approve, 
And if, within thy breast, 
Thou feel the comfort of His love, 
The earnest of His rest? 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 53 

THE PES1TEST 



I 



MOURN with thee, and yet rejoice 
That thou shouldst sorrow so ; 

With angel choirs I join my voice 
To bless the sinner's woe. 



Though friends and kindred turn away, 
And laugh thy grief to scorn ; 

I hear the great Redeemer say, 
" Blessed are ye that mourn." 

Hold on thy course, nor deem it strange 
That earthly cords are riven : 

Man may lament the wondrous change, 
But M there is joy in heaven ! ' 



CHARLOTTE BRONTE 

WINTER STORES 

WE take from life one little share, 
And say that this shall be 
A space, redeemed from toil and 
care, 
From tears and sadness free. 

And, haply, Death unstrings his bow 
And Sorrow stands apart, 
And, for a little while, we know 
The sunshine of the heart. 



Existence seems a summer eve, 
Warm, soft, and full of peace, 
Our free, unfettered feelings give 
The soul its full release. 

A moment, then, it takes the power 
To call up thoughts that throw 
Around that charmed and hallowed hour. 
This life's divinest glow. 

But Time, though viewlessly it flies, 

And slowly, will not stay ; 

Alike, through clear and clouded skies, 

It cleaves its silent way. 

54 



SACRED POEMS 55 

Alike the bitter cup of grief, 
Alike the draught of bliss, 
Its progress leaves but moment brief 
For baffled lips to kiss. 

The sparkling draught is dried away, 
The hour of rest is gone, 
And urgent voices, round us, say, 
" Ho, lingerer, hasten on ! " 

And has the soul, then, only gained, 
From this brief time of ease, 
A moments rest, when overstrained, 
One hurried glimpse of peace ? 

No, while the sun shone kindly o'er us, 
And flowers bloomed around our feet, 
While many a bud of joy before us 
Unclosed its petals sweet, — 

An unseen work within was plying ; 
Like honey-seeking bee, 
From flower to flower, unwearied, flying, 
Laboured one faculty, — 

Thoughtful for winter's future sorrow, 
Its gloom and scarcity 
Prescient to-day, of want to-morrow, 
Toiled quiet Memory. 



56 SACRED POEMS 

Tis she that from each transient pleasure 
Extracts a lasting good ; 
'Tis she that finds, in summer, treasure 
To serve for winter's food. 

And when Youth's summer day is vanished, 
And age brings winter's stress, 
Her stores with hoarded sweets replenished, 
Life's evening hours will bless 



THE LAST LINES WRITTEN BY 
EMILY BRONTE 

NO coward soul is mine, 
No trembler in the world's storm- 
troubled sphere : 
I see heaven's glories shine, 
And faith shines equal, arming me from 
fear. 

O God within my breast, 
Almighty, ever-present Deity ! 

Life — that in me has rest, 
As I — undying Life — have pow er in thee ! 

Vain are the thousand creeds 
That move men's hearts : unutterably vain ; 

Worthless as withered weeds, 
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main, 

To waken doubt in one 
Holding so fast by thine infinity ; 

So surely anchored on 
The stedfast rock of immortality. 

With wide embracing love 
Thy spirit animates eternal years, 

Pervades and broods above, 
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears. 

67 



58 SACRED POEMS 

Though earth and man were gone, 
And suns and universes cease to be, 

And Thou were left alone, 
Every existence would exist in Thee. 

There is not room for Death, 
Nor atom that his might could render void : 

Thou — Thou art Being and Breath, 
And what Thou art may never be destroyed. 



; 



UM 



REV. R. S. BROOKE, D.D. 

LIGHT AND SHADE 

I WOULD fain enjoy the sunshine, 
Yet the shadow ever falls, 
Something dark within, without me, 
Casts it on my prison walls ; 
Then I questioned with my spirit, 
" Wherefore is thy day so dim, 
When God's light is all around thee, 
And its source is all in Him?' 

And my spirit maketh answer, 

" Yes God's light is all on earth, 
Like a river brimming over 

From the fountain of its birth ; 
Spite of all men's aberrations, 

Scathe and sorrow, shame and strife, 
Like a sunlit sea it ripples 

Ever up the shores of life." 

Then I answered to my spirit, 

" If God's light indeed be so, 
Like a fountain in its fulness, 

Like""a sea-tide in its flow ! 
Then the fault is mine, inherent 

In this dark and heavy clay, 
Kneaded up throughout my nature, 

Barring thus the light of day ; 

59 



60 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Yet the glory, unattainted, 

Rests on all that round us lies, 
On the lily's silver chalice, 

On the rosebuds crimson dyes, 
On the green and flashing billow 

Bursting all in balls of light, 
On the thousand diamond dew-drops 

Weeping for the parted night." 

Then resumed my spirit, " Surely 

These things have their shadows too, 
Time will dim the lily's lustre, 

Turn to dust the rosebud's hue ; 
Underneath the bright green billow 

Blanch the million bones of men ; 
Come and seek the dew at noon-day 

Will you find its sparkle then ? 

Yet God's light is still around us, 

Shining on with temper'd ray, 
Through the many mists and sorrows 

That obscure His people's way. 
And, bethink you how the Saviour 

Walked in shadow all His years — 
Was He not 4 with grief acquainted ' ? 

Was He not a 4 man of tears ' ? ' 

Then I answered to my spirit 
" If my Master wore the gloom 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 61 

Ere He won the glory, may I 

Humbly then His part assume ; 
Still through light and shade press onward. 

With a soul serene and tender, 
Till the golden bells of heaven 

Ring me in to cloudless splendour. 



ELIZABETH BARRETT 
BROWNING 

COMFORT 

SPEAK low to me, my Saviour, low and 
sweet 
From out the hallelujahs, sweet and 
low, 
Lest I should fear and fall, and miss Thee so 
Who art not missed by any that entreat. 
Speak to me as to Mary at Thy feet — 
And if no precious gums my hands bestow 
Let my tears drop like amber, while I go 
In reach of Thy divinest voice complete 
In humanest affliction — thus, in sooth, 
To lose the sense of losing ! As a child, 
Whose song-bird seeks the wood for evermore, 
\% sung to in its stead by mother's mouth ; 
Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled, 
He sleeps the faster that he wept before. 



CHEERFULNESS TAUGHT BY 
REASON 

I THINK we are too ready with complaint 
In this fair world of God's. Had we no 
hope 
Indeed beyond the zenith and the slope 
Of yon grey blank of sky, we might be faint 



SACRED POEMS 63 

To muse upon eternity's constraint 

Round our aspirant souls. But since the 

scope 
Must widen early, is it well to droop, 
For a few days consumed in loss and taint ? 
O pusillanimous Heart, be comforted, — 
And, like a cheerful traveller, take the road, 
Singing beside the hedge. What if the bread 
Be bitter in thine inn, and thou unshod 
To meet the flints ? — At least it may be 

said, 
"Because the wav is short, I thank Thee, 

God!" 



DISCONTENT 

LIGHT human nature is too lightly tost 
And ruffled without cause ; complain- 
ing on — 
Restless with rest — until, being overthrown, 
It learneth to lie quiet. Let a frost 
Or a small wasp have crept to the innermost 
Of our ripe peach ; or let the wilful sun 
Shine westward of our window, — straight we 

run 
A furlong's sigh, as if the world were lost. 
But what time through the heart and through 

the brain 
God hath transfixed us, — we, so moved before. 



64 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Attain to a calm. Ay, shouldering weights of 

pain, 
We anchor in deep waters, safe from shore ; 
And hear, submissive, o'er the stormy main, 
God's chartered judgments walk for evermore. 

THE SLEEP 

'* He giveth His beloved sleep." — Psalm cxxvli. 2. 

OF all the thoughts of God that are 
Born inward unto souls afar, 
Along the Psalmists music deep, 
Now tell me if that any is, 
For gift or grace, surpassing this — 
" He giveth His beloved, sleep w ? 

What would we give to our beloved? — 
The hero's heart, to be unmoved, 
The poet's star-tuned harp, to sweep, 
The patriot's voice, to teach and rouse, 
The monarch' s crown, to light the brows. — 
44 He giveth His beloved, sleep." 

What do we give to our beloved ? — 
A little faith, all undisproved, 
A little dust, to overweep, 
And bitter memories, to make 
The whole earth blasted for our sake. — 
44 He giveth His beloved, sleep." 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 65 

" Sleep soft, beloved ! '" we sometimes say, 
But have no tune to charm away 
Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep : 
But never doleful dream again 
Shall break the happy slumber, when 
** He giveth His beloved, sleep." 



O earth, so full of dreary noises ! 
O men, with wailing in your voices ! 
O delved gold, the wailers heap ! 
O strife, O curse, that o'er it fall ! 
God makes a silence through you all, 
And "giveth His beloved, sleep/' 



His dews drop mutely on the hill, 
His cloud above it saileth still, 
Though on its slope men sow and reap. 
More softly than the dew is shed, 
Or cloud is floated overhead, 
4 He giveth His beloved, sleep." 



Yea, men may wonder while they scan 
A living, thinking, feeling man, 
Confirmed, in such a rest to keep ; 
But angels say — and through the word 
I think their happy smile is heard — 
"He giveth His beloved, sleep." 

5 



66 SACRED POEMS 

For me, my heart that erst did go 
Most like a tired child at a show, 
That sees through tears the jugglers leap, — 
Would now its wearied vision close, 
Would childlike on His love repose, 
Who "giveth His beloved, sleep/' 

And, friends, dear friends, — when shall it be 
That this low breath is gone from me, 
And round my bier ye come to weep, 
Let one, most loving of you all, 
Say, " Not a tear must o'er her fall — 
He giveth His beloved, sleep." 



WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT 

THANATOPS1S 

TO him who in the love of Nature holds 
Communion with her visible forms, 
she speaks 
A various language ; for his gayer hours 
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile 
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides 
Into his darker musings, with a mild 
And healing sympathy, that steals away 
Their sharpness ere he is aware. When 

thoughts 
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight 
Over thy spirit, and sad images 
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, 
And breathless darkness, and the narrow 

house, 
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at 

heart ; — 
Go forth, under the open sky, and list 
To Nature's teachings, while from all around — 
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air — 
Comes a still voice : Yet a few days and thee 
The all-beholding sun shall see no more 
In all his course ; nor yet in the cold ground, 
Where thy pale form was laid, with many 

tears, 

Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist 

67 



68 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall 

claim 
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, 
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up 
Thine individual being, shalt thou go 
To mix forever with the elements, 
To be a brother to the insensible rock 
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain 
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The 

oak 
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy 

mould. 

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place 
Shalt thou retire alone, — nor couldst thou wish 
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie 

down 
With patriarchs of the infant world — with 

kings, 
The powerful of the earth — the wise, the good, 
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, 
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills 
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun ; the vales 
Stretching in pensive quietness between ; 
The venerable woods ; rivers that move 
In majesty, and the complaining brooks 
That make the meadows green ; and, poured 

round all, 
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste, — 
Are but the solemn decorations all 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 69 

Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, 
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, 
Are shining on the sad abodes of death, 
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread 
The globe are but a handful to the tribes 
That slumber in its bosom. — Take the wings 
Of morning, traverse Barca's desert sands, 
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods 
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, 
Save his own dashings — yet the dead are 

there : 
And millions in those solitudes, since first 
The flight of years began, have laid them 

down 
In their last sleep ; the dead reign there alone. 
So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw 
In silence from the living, and no friend 
Take note of thy departure ? All that breathe 
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh 
When thou art gone ; the solemn brood of care 
Plod on, and each one as before will chase 
His favourite phantom ; yet all these shall 

leave 
Their mirth and their employments, and shall 

come, 
And make their bed with thee. As the long 

train 
Of ages glide away, the sons of men, 
The youth in life's green spring, and he who 

goes 



70 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

In the full strength of years, matron, and maid, 
And the sweet babe, and the gray-headed 

man, — 
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, 
Bv those who in their turn shall follow them. 



So live, that when thy summons comes to 

join 
The innumerable caravan, which moves 
To that mysterious realm, where each shall 

take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death, 
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, 
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and 

soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 



» BLESSED ARE THEY 
THAT MOURN" 



o 



H, deem not they are blest alone 
Whose lives a peaceful tenor keep ; 

The Power who pities man has shown 
A blessing for the eyes that weep. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 71 

The light of smiles shall fill again 
The lids that overflow with tears ; 

And weary hours of woe and pain 
Are promises of happier years. 

There is a day of sunny rest 

For every dark and troubled night ; 

And grief may bide an evening guest, 
But joy shall come with early light. 

And thou, who, o'er thy friend's low bier, 
Sheddest the bitter drops of rain, 

Hope that a brighter, happier sphere 
Will give him to thy arms again. 

Nor let the good man's trust depart, 
Though life its common gifts deny, 

Though with a pierced and bleeding heart 
And spurned of men, he goes to die. 

For God hath marked each sorrowing day 
And numbered every secret tear, 

And heaven's long age of bliss shall pay 
For all His children suffer here. 



REV. R. W. BUCKLEY, D.D. 

TWILIGHT SORROW 



W 



HO may tell how often sorrow 
Cometh at the close of day ; 
Sorrow for the sinful record 

Borne by passing time away ; 
Sorrow for good resolutions 

Broken in the toil of life ; 
For the Christian's weapons tarnished, 

Blunted in the daily strife ; 
For the weakly heart's backsliding 

In the journey to its bourne ; 
For the dulness of the spirit 

Dwelling in its carnal urn. 
Yet this sorrow bringeth comfort, 

When it bends the contrite knee 
In an act of heartfelt worship, 

In a deep humility. 
Then it is the blest forerunner 

Of a grace that steals always, 
With refreshing to the spirit, 

Changing sighs to songs of praise. 
Sorrow such as this be ever 

Welcome to this heart of mine, 
Through such tears a hopeful rainbow 

O'er my future path doth shine ; 
Minister of heaven's giving, 

Messenger to clear the way, 

72 



SACRED POEMS 

Till the love of God descending 

Teaches all my soul to pray. 
And, in answer, such a measure 

Of His strength divine comes down, 
That my spirit more than ever 

Strives to win and wear the crown. 
Godly sorrow, oft come hither 

On the stilly wings of eve, 
Such a holy joy attends thee 

That it is a bliss to grieve. 



LENT 

LENT marks the Spring : It is the Spring 
of tears, 
That primal rain which fell at Eden's 
gate 
From our first parents 1 hearts disconsolate, 
Now wept anew, for that the Cross appears 
Down the long vista of the forty days ; 
That while the reverent heart in sad amaze, 
Upon the Symbol that Faith's hand uprears, 

In lowly hope, and voiceless love doth gaze 
Until glad victory comes and clothes it round 
with rays. 

Lent is a wilderness, a lonely place 

To hide our souls in from the giddy throng ; 
We sit outside of Eden mourning long 



74 SACRED POEMS 

Our lost estate, our ancient Fall from Grace ; 
We sit and weep beside the Cross of shame 
Alone and wear the days out in self-blame : 

But Jesus turns on us His pitying face. 
We are His sheep. He calleth us by name, 

And comforts dwell where sorrows erewhile 
went and came. 



THOMAS BURBIDGE 

AT D1V1SE DISPOSAL 

OH, leave thyself to God ! and if, indeed, 
Tis given thee to perform so vast a 
task, 
Think not at all — think not, but kneel and ask. 
O friend, by thought was never creature freed 
From any sin, from any mortal need : 
Be patient ! not by thought canst thou devise 
What course of life for thee is right and wise ; 
It will be written up, and thou wilt read. 
Oft like a sudden pencil of rich light, 
Piercing the thickest umbrage of the wood, 
Will shoot, amid our troubles infinite, 
The spirit's voice ; oft, like the balmy flood 
Of morn, surprise the universal night 
With glory, and make all things sweet and 
good. 



75 



ANNE S. BUSHBY 

CHRIST'S INVITATION 

" Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest." — Matt. xi. 25. 

THIS were a world of darkness, sin, 
and woe, 
But for the mercies that from Jesus 
flow. 
He hath taught us in life's bitterest hour 
To trust alike His pity and His pow'r. 
Mighty to save, and mighty to destroy, 
How shall we thank Him, that from realms of 

joy, 
Of unimaginable glory, He 
Would deign our earth to visit, to make free 
From Satan's chains our all-degraded race, 
And bring us promise of redeeming grace ? 
How shall we thank our Saviour and our 

Lord? 
By gratefully believing in His word ; 
By humbly trusting in His proffer' d aid, 
Casting our cares on Him. Hath He not 

said : 
" Come unto me, all ye that are oppressed 
And heavy laden, I will give you rest M ? 
Our Saviour asks but this : Come unto Him ; 
Come unto Him with faith ; though eyes be 

dim 

76 



SACRED POEMS 77 

With lonely weeping — hearts be broken r 

crush'd 
Beneath a load of grief — and cheeks be flush'd 
With shame at former guilt — He can release 
Fron sin's dark triumph ; He can calm to 

peace 
The troubled mind, and with a holy light 
Illume the tearful eye. Shall mortals slight 
That invitation given by heavenly love ? 
Shall they reject that message from above ? 
Let us look to life beyond the grave, 
And timely fly to Him whose pow'r alone cart 

save ! 



ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH 

4 O THOU OF LITTLE FAITH" 

IT may be true 
That while we walk the troublous tossing 
sea, 
That when we see the oertopping waves 

advance, 
And when we feel our feet beneath us sink, 
There are who walk beside us ; and the cry 
That rises so spontaneous to the lips, 
The M Help us or we perish," is not nought, 
An evanescent spectrum of disease. 
It may be that indeed and not in fancy, 
A hand that is not ours upstays our steps, 
A voice that is not ours commands the waves, 
Commands the waves and whispers in our 

ear 
" O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt ? " 
At any rate, 

That there are beings above us, I believe, 
And when we lift up holy hands of prayer, 
I will not say they will not give us aid. 



78 



THOMAS DAVIS 

GOD IS LOVE 

WHY comes this fragrance on the 
summer breeze, 
The blended tribute of ten thousand 
flowers, 
To me, a frequent wanderer 'mid the trees 

That form these gay, though solitary bowers ? 
One answer is around, beneath, above ; 
The echo of the voice, that God is Love ! 



Why bursts such melody from tree and 
bush, 
The overflowing of each songster's heart, 
So filling mine, that it can scarcely hush 

Awhile to listen, but would take its part ? 
'Tis but one song I hear where'er I rove, 
Though countless be the notes, that God is 
Love ! 



Why leaps the streamlet down the mountain's 
side, 

Hastening so swiftly to the vale beneath, 
To cheer the shepherd's thirsty flock, or glide 

Where the hot sun has left a faded wreath, 
Or, rippling, aid the music of the grove? 

Its own glad voice replies, that God is Love ! 

79 



80 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

In starry heavens, at the midnight hour, 
In ever-varying hues at morning's dawn, 

In the fair bow athwart the falling shower, 
In forest, river, lake, rock, hill, and lawn, 

One truth is written : all conspire to prove, 

What grace of old reveal'd, that God is Love! 

Nor less this pulse of health, far glancing eye. 
And heart so moved with beauty, perfume, 
song, 

This spirit, soaring through a gorgeous sky, 
Or diving ocean's coral caves among, 

Fleeter than darting fish or startled dove ; 

All, all declare the same, that God is Love ! 

Is it a fallen world on which I gaze ? 

Am I as deeply fallen as the rest, 
Yet joys partaking, past my utmost praise, 

Instead of wandering forlorn, unblest ? 
It is as if an unseen spirit strove 
To grave upon my heart, that God is Love ! 

Yet wouldst thou see, my soul, this truth 
display'd 

In characters which wondering angels read 
And read, adoring ; go, imploring aid 

To gaze with faith, behold the Saviour bleed! 
Thy God, in human form ! O, what can prove. 
If this suffice thee not that God is Love? 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 81 

Cling to His cross ; and let thy ceaseless 
prayer 

Be, that thy grasp may tail not ! and, ere long, 
Thou shalt ascend to that fair Temple, where 

In strains ecstatic an innumerous throng 
Of saints and seraphs, round the Throne above, 
Proclaim for evermore, that God is Love ! 



AUSTIN DOBSON 

BEFORE SEDAN 

" The dead hand clasped a letter." — Special Correspon- 
dence. 



H 



ERE in this leafy place, 

Quiet he lies, 
Cold, with his sightless face 
Turned to the skies ; 
Tis but another dead ; 
All you can say is said. 

Carry his body hence, — 

Kings must have slaves ; 

Kings climb to eminence 
Over men's graves : 

So this man's eye is dim ; — 

Throw the earth over him. 

What was the white you touched, 

There, at his side ? 
Paper his hand had clutched 

Tight ere he died ; 
Message or wish, may be ; — 
Smooth the folds out and see. 



Hardly the worst of us 

Here could have smiled ! — 



SACRED POEMS 83 

Only the tremulous 

Words of a child ; — 
Prattle that has for stops 
Just a few ruddy drops. 

Look. She is sad to miss, 

Morning and night, 
His — her dead father's — kiss ; 

Tries to be bright, 
Good to mamma, and sweet. 
That is all. M Marguerite." 

Ah, if beside the dead 

Slumbered the pain ! 
Ah, if the hearts that bled 

Slept with the slain ! 
If the grief died ; — But no ; — 
Death will not have it so. 



EDWARD DOWDEN 

COMMUNION 

LORD, I have knelt and tried to pray 
to-night, 
But Thy love came upon me like a 
sleep, 
And all desire died out ; upon the deep 
Of Thy mere love I lay, each thought in light 
Dissolving like the sunset clouds, at rest 
Each tremulous wish, and my strength, weak- 
ness, sweet 
As a sick boy with soon o'erwearied feet 
Finds, yielding him unto his mother's breast 
To weep for weakness there. I could not pray, 
But with closed eyes I felt Thy bosom's love 
Beating toward mine, and then I would not 

move 
Till of itself the joy should pass away ; 
At last my heart found voice, — " Take me, O 

Lord, 
And do with me according to Thy word." 



SEEKING GOD 

I SAID, " I will find God," and forth I went 
To seek Him in the clearness of the sky 
But over me stood unendurably 
Only a pitiless, sapphire firmament 

b4 



SACRED POEMS 85 

Ringing the world, — blank splendour ; yet 

intent 
Still to find God, M I will go seek,^ said I, 
" His way upon the waters," and drew nigh 
An ocean marge weed-strewn, and foam- 
besprent ; 
And the waves dashed on idle sand and stone 
And very vacant was the long, blue sea ; 
But in the evening as I sat alone, 
My window open to the vanishing day, 
Dear God ! I could not choose but kneel and 

pray, 
And it sufficed that I was found of Thee. 



DR. DRENNAN 

THE HEA VEX OF HE A VENS CANNOT 
CONTAIN 



T 



HE Heaven of Heavens cannot contain 

The Universal Lord ; 
Yet He, in humble hearts, will deign 

To dwell, and be adored. 



Where'er ascends the sacrifice 

Of fervent praise and prayer, 
Or on the earth, or in the skies, 

The Heaven of God is there. 

His presence there is spread abroad, 

Through realms, through worlds unknown ; 

Who seeks the mercies of his God, 
Is ever near His throne. 



86 



CHARLES DYSON 

o lamp OF urn 

OLA .MP of Life ! that on the bloody C 
Dost hang, the Beacon of our wan- 
dering ra' 
To guide us homeward to our resting-plac . 
And save our best wealth from eternal loss ! 
purge my inward sight from earthly drott, 
That, fix'd upon Thy Cross, or near or far. 
In all the storms this weary- bark that tos 
(Whate er be lost in that tempestuous war.) 
Thee 1 retain, my Compass and my Star ! 
That, when arrived upon the wish'd-for strand, 

I pass of death th' irrevocable bar. 
And at the gate of Heaven trembling stand, 
The everlasting doors may open wide. 
And give Thee to my sight. God glorified'. 



B7 



GEORGE ELIOT 

THE DEATH OF MOSES 

MOSES, who spake with God as with 
his friend, 
And ruled his people with the two- 
fold power 
Of wisdom that can dare and still be meek, 
Was writing his last word, the sacred name 
Unutterable of that Eternal Will 
Which was and is and evermore shall be. 
Yet was his task not finished, for the flock 
Needed its shepherd and the life-taught sage 
Leaves no successor ; but to chosen men, 
The rescuers and guides of Israel, 
A death was given called the Death of Grace, 
Which freed them from the burden of the flesh 
But left them rulers of the multitude 
And loved companions of the lonely. This 
Was God's last gift to Moses, this the hour 
When soul must part from self and be but soul. 



God spake to Gabriel, the messenger 
Of mildest death that draws the parting life 
Gently, as when a little rosy child 
Lifts up its lips from off the bowl of milk 
And so draws forth a curl that dipped its gold 
In the soft white — Thus Gabriel draws the soul, 
' Go bring the soul of Moses unto me ! v 

88 



SACRED POEMS 89 

And the awe-stricken angel answered, " Lord, 
How shall I dare to take his life who lives 
Sole of his kind, not to be likened once 
In all the generations of the earth ? " 

Then God called Michael, him of pensive 

brow, 
Snow-vest and flaming sword, who knows and 

acts : 
44 Go bring the spirit of Moses unto Me ! ' 1 
But Michael with such grief as angels feel, 
Loving the mortals whom they succour, pled : 
44 Almighty, spare me ; it was I who taught 
Thy servant Moses ; he is part of me 
As I of Thy deep secrets, knowing them." 

Then God called Zamael, the terrible, 
The angel of fierce death, of agony 
That comes in battle and in pestilence 
Remorseless, sudden or with lingering throes. 
And Zamael, his raiment and broad wings 
Blood-tinctured, the dark lustre of his eyes 
Shrouding the red, fell like the gathering night 
Before the prophet. But that radiance 
Won from the heavenly presence in the mount 
Gleamed on the prophet's brow and dazzling 

pierced 
Its conscious opposite : the angel turned 
His murky gaze aloof and inly said : 
44 An angel this, deathless to angel's stroke." 



90 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

But Moses felt the subtly nearing dark : — 
44 Who art thou ? and what wilt thou ? ' Zamael 

then : 
4k 1 am God's reaper ; through the fields of life 
I gather ripened and unripened souls 
Both willing and unwilling. And I come 
Now to reap thee." But Moses cried, 
Firm as a seer who waits the trusted sign : 
" Reap thou the fruitless plant and common 

herb — 
Not him who from the womb was sanctified 
To teach the law of purity and love.* 1 
And Zamael baffled from his errand fled. 

But Moses, pausing, in the air serene 
Heard now that mystic whisper, far yet near, 
The all-penetrating voice, that said to him, 
" Moses, the hour is come and thou must die." 
" Lord, I obey ; but thou rememberest 
How thou, Ineffable, didst take me once 
Within thy orb of light untouched by death." 
Then the voice answered, " Be no more afraid : 
With me shall be thy death and burial." 
So Moses waited, ready now to die. 

And the Lord came, invisible as a thought, 
Three angels gleaming on his secret track, 
Prince Michael, Zagael, Gabriel, charged to 

guard 
The soul-forsaken bodv as it fell 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 91 

And bear it to the hidden sepulchre 

Denied for ever to the search of man. 

And the Voice said to Moses : 44 Close thine 

eyes." 
He closed them. M Lay thine hand upon thine 

heart, 
And draw thy feet together." He obeyed. 
And the Lord said, "O spirit! child of mine! 
A hundred years and twenty thou hast dwelt 
Within this tabernacle wrought of clay. 
This is the end : Come forth and flee to heaven." 

But the grieved soul with plaintive pleading 

cried, 
44 1 love this body with a clinging love : 
The courage fails me, Lord, to part from it." 

44 O child, come forth ! for thou shalt dwell 

with Me 
About the immortal throne where seraphs joy 
In growing vision and in growing love." 

Yet hesitating, fluttering, like the bird 
With young wing weak and dubious, the soul 
Stayed. But behold ! upon the death-dewed lips 
A kiss descended, pure, unspeakable — 
The bodiless Love without embracing Love 
That lingered in the body, drew it forth 
With heavenly strength and carried it to 
heaven. 



92 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

But now beneath the sky the watchers all, 
Angels that keep the homes of Israel 
Or on high purpose wander o'er the world 
Leading the Gentiles, felt a dark eclipse : 
The greatest ruler among men was gone. 
And from the westward sea was heard a wail, 
A dirge as from the isles of Javanim, 
Crying, "Who now is left upon the earth 
Like him to teach the right and smite the 

wrong i 
And from the East, far o'er the Syrian waste, 
Came slowlier, sadlier, the answering dirge : 
" No prophet like him lives or shall arise 
In Israel or the world for evermore." 

But Israel waited, looking toward the mount, 
Till with the deepening eve the elders came 
Saying, " His burial is hid with God. 
We stood far off and saw the angels lift 
His corpse aloft until they seemed a star 
That burnt itself away within the sky." 

The people answered with mute orphaned 

gaze 
Looking for what had vanished evermore. 
Then through the gloom without them and 

within 
The spirit's shaping light, mysterious speech, 
Invisible Will wrought clear in sculptured 

sound, 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 93 

The thought-begotten daughter of the voice, 
Thrilled on their listening sense : " He has no 

tomb. 
He dwells not with you dead, but lives as 

Law." 



FREDERICK WILLIAM FABER 

MUSIC 

THAT music breathes all through my 
spirit 
As the breezes blow through a tree ; 
And my soul gives light as it quivers, 
Like moons on a tremulous sea. 

New passions are wakened within me, 
New passions that have not a name ; 

Dim truths that I knew but as phantoms 
Stand up clear and bright in the flame : 

And my soul is possessed with yearnings, 
Which make my life broaden and swell ; 

And I hear strange things that are soundless, 
And I see the invisible. 

Oh silence that clarion in mercy, — 

For it carries my soul away ; 
And it whirls my thoughts out beyond me, 

Like the leaves on an autumn day. 

O exquisite tyranny ! silence, — 

My soul slips from under my hand, 

And as if by instinct is fleeing 
To a dread unvisited land. 

94 



SACRED POEMS 95 

Is it sound, or fragrance, or vision ? 

Vocal light wavering down from above? 
Past prayer and past praise I am floating 

Down the rapids of speechless love. 

I strove, but the sweet sounds have conquered: 

Within me the Past is awake ; 
The Present is grandly transfigured ; 

The Future is clear as day-break. 

Now Past, Present, Future have mingled 
A new sort of Present to make ; 

And my life is all disembodied, 

Without time, without space, without break. 

But my soul seems floating for ever 

In an orb of ravishing sounds, 
Through faint-falling echoes of heavens, 

'Mid beautiful earths without bounds. 

Now sighing, as zephyrs in summer, 
The concords glide in like a stream, 

With a sound that is almost a silence, 
Or the soundless sounds in a dream. 

Then oft, when the music is faintest, 
My soul has a storm in its bowers, 

Like the thunder among the mountains, 
Like the wind in the abbey towers. 



96 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

There are sounds, like flakes of snow falling 
In their silent and eddying rings ; 

We tremble, — they touch us so lightly, 
Like the feathers from angels' wings. 

There are pauses of marvellous silence, 
That are full of significant sound, 

Like music echoing music 

Under water or under ground. 

That clarion again ! through what valleys 

Of deep inward life did it roll, 
Ere it blew that astonishing trumpet 

Right down in the caves of my soul ? 

My mind is bewildered with echoes, — 
Not all from the sweet sounds without ! 

But spirits are answering spirits 
In a beautiful muffled shout. 

Oh cease then, wild horns ! I am fainting ; 

If ye wail so, my heart will break ; 
Someone speaks to me in your speaking 

In a language I cannot speak. 

Though the sounds ye make are all foreign, 
How native, how household they are ; 

The tones of old homes mixed with heaven. 
The dead and the angels, speak there. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 97 

Dear voices that long have been silenced, 
Come clear from their peaceable land, 

Come toned with unspeakable sweetness 
From the Presence in which they stand. 

Or is music the inarticulate 

Speech of the angels on earth ? 
Or the voice of the Undiscovered 

Bringing great truths to the birth ? 

O music ! thou surely art worship ; 

But thou art not like praise or prayer ; 
And words make better thanksgiving 

Than thy sweet melodies are. 

There is in thee another worship, 
An outflow of something divine ! 

For the voice of adoring silence, 
If it could be a voice, were thine. 

Thou art fugitive splendours made vocal, 
As they glanced from that shining sea 

Where the Vision is visible music, 
Making music of spirits who see. 

Thou, Lord ! art the Father of music; 

Sweet sounds are a whisper from Thee ; 
Thou hast made Thy creation all anthems, 

Though it singeth them silentlv. 

7 



98 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

But I guess by the stir of this music 
What raptures in heaven can be. 

Where the sound is Thy marvellous stillness. 
And the music is light out of Thee. 



COME TO JESUS 



s 



OULS of men ! why will ye scatter 
Like a crowd of frightened sheep? 
Foolish hearts ! why will ye wander 
From a love so true and deep ? 



Was there ever kindest shepherd 
Half so gentle, half so sweet 

As the Saviour who would have us 
Come and gather round His feet ? 

It is God : His love looks mighty, 
But is mightier than it seems ! 

'Tis our Father : and His fondness 
Goes far out beyond our dreams. 

There's a wideness in Gods mercy, 
Like the wideness of the sea : 

There's a kindness in His justice, 
Which is more than libertv. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 99 

There is no place where earths sorrows 
Are more felt than up in Heaven ; 

There is no place where earth's failings 
Have such kindly judgment given. 

There is welcome for the sinner, 
And more graces for the good ; 

There is mercy with the Saviour ; 
There is healing in His blood. 

There is grace enough for thousands 
Of new worlds as great as this ; 

There is room for fresh creations 
In that upper home of bliss. 

For the love of God is broader 

Than the measures of man's mind ; 

And the Heart of the Eternal 
Is most wonderfully kind. 

But we make His love too narrow 

By false limits of our own ; 
And we magnify His strictness 

With a zeal He will not own. 

There is plentiful redemption 

In the blood that has been shed ; 

There is joy for all the members 
In the sorrows of the Head. 



100 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

"Tis not all we owe to Jesus ; 

It is something more than all ; 
Greater good because of evil, 

Larger mercy through the fall. 

Pining souls ! come nearer Jesus, 
And, oh come, not doubting thus, 

But with faith that trusts more bravely 
His vast tenderness for us. 

If our love were but more simple, 
We should take Him at His word ; 

And our lives would be all sunshine 
In the sweetness of our Lord. 



THE RIGHT MUST WIN 



o 



H it is hard to work for God, 

To rise and take His part 
Upon this battlefield of earth, 
And not sometimes lose heart ! 



He hides Himself so wondrously, 
As though there were no God ; 

He is least seen when all the powers 
Of ill are most abroad. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 101 

Or He deserts us at the hour 

The fight is all but lost ; 
And seems to leave us to ourselves 

Just when we need Him most. 

Yes, there is less to try our faith, 

In our mysterious creed, 
Than in the godless look of earth, 

In these our hours of need. 

Ill masters good ; good seems to change 

To ill with greatest ease ; 
And, worst of all, the good with good 

Is at cross purposes. 

It is not so, but so it looks ; 

And we lose courage then ; 
And doubts will come if God hath kept 

His promises to men. 

Ah ! God is other than we think ; 

His ways are far above, 
Far beyond reason's height, and reached 

Only by child-like love. 

The look, the fashion of God's ways 

Love's lifelong study are ; 
She can be bold, and guess, and act, 

When reason would not dare. 



I 



102 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

She has a prudence of her own ; 

Her step is firm and free ; 
Yet there is cautious science too 

In her simplicity. 

Workmen of God ! oh lose not heart, 

But learn what God is like ; 
And in the darkest battlefield 

Thou shalt know where to strike. 

Thrice blest is he to whom is given 

The instinct that can tell 
That God is on the field when He 

Is most invisible. 

Blest too is he who can divine 

Where real right doth lie, 
And dares to take the side that seems 

Wrong to man's blindfold eye. 

Then learn to scorn the praise of men, 
And learn to lose with God ; 

For Jesus won the world through shame, 
And beckons thee His road. 

God's glory is a wondrous thing, 
Most strange in all its ways, 

And, of all things on earth, least like 
What men agree to praise. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 103 

As He can endless glory weave 
From what men reckon shame, 

In His own world He is content 
To play a losing game. 

Muse on His justice, downcast soul ! 

Muse and take better heart ; 
Back with thine angel to the field, 

And bravely do thy part. 

Gods justice is a bed, where we 

Our anxious hearts may lay, 
And, weary with ourselves, may sleep 

Our discontent away. 

For right is right, since God is God ; 

And right the day must win ; 
To doubt would be disloyalty, 

To falter would be sin. 



ELLEN THORNEYCROFT 
FOWLER 

LOSS AND GAIN 

I SORROWED that the golden day was 
dead, 
Its light no more the countryside adorn- 
ing ; 
But whilst I grieved, behold ! — the East grew 
red 

With morning. 

I sighed that merry Spring was forced to go, 
And doff the wreaths that did so well 
become her ; 
But whilst I murmured at her absence, lo ! 
'Twas Summer. 

I mourned because the daffodils were killed 
By burning skies that scorched my early 
posies ; 
But whilst for these I pined, mv hands were 
filled 

With roses. 

Half broken-hearted I bewailed the end 
Of friendships than which none had once 
seemed nearer ; 
But whilst I wept I found a newer friend. 
And dearer. 
104 



SACRED POEMS 105 

And thus I learned old pleasures are estranged 
Only that something better may be given ; 
Until at last we find this earth exchanged 
For Heaven. 



MEANS AXO ESD 

THE drops of water which have turned 
the wheel 
Will ne'er come back to turn the 
wheel again ; 
The blossoms which have shed their rosy 
rain 
Will nevermore the Spring's sweet promise 

seal. 
Yet still the miller slowly grinds to meal 
His goodly stores of golden-tinted grain ; 
And still the Spring returns to hill and plain. 
And treads the dust to flowers beneath her 

heel. 
Fear ye not, therefore, lest the cause ye love 
Should languish, when your tender toil-worn 
hands 
Are crossed in peace beneath the daisied 
sod ! 
The Means wax old and perishable prove — 
The End endures eternally, and stands 
Above the ages, face to face with God. 



106 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

A WISH 

WHEN the world to thee is new, 
When its dazzling dreams deceive 
thee, 
Ere they pass like morning dew — 
Faith retrieve thee ! 

When the glory fades away, 

When of light the clouds bereave thee, 
When the shadows mar the day — 
Hope relieve thee ! 

When despair's destroying breath 

Comes at eventide to grieve thee 
With the bitterness of death — 
Love reprieve thee ! 

When the bells at Curfew toll, 

When the lingering sunbeams leave thee, 
When the night o'erwhelms thy soul — 
God receive thee ! 



THE BRETON FISHERMEN S PR A YER 

EAR Lord, Thy sea is great — our 
boats are small !" 
So cry the fishers of the Northern 
sea 
When God's high wind ariseth stormily, 
Uplifting them before a sudden fall. 



D 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 107 

Thus in distress we also oft-times call 
When blindly beaten to and fro are we, 
Far from the haven where we fain would be, 
While wind-swept seas our melting hearts 

appal. 
And when for us the waves thereof are still, 
And we would gladly help those storm- 
tossed souls 
Who yet are struggling 'neath the tempest's 
weight ; 
Feeling the frailty of all human skill, 

We humbly whisper while the thunder rolls, 
" Dear Lord, our boats are small — Thy sea is 
great ! " 

STREAM AND LAKE 

A STREAMLET started, singing sea- 
war d-ho ! 
But found across the path its fancy 
planned 
A stone which stopped it with the stern 

command, 
" Thus far and never farther shalt thou go." 
Then, where the tiny stream was wont to 
flow, 
A shining lake appeared with silver strand, 
Refreshing flower-strewn fields on either 
hand — 
Reflecting starry skies and sunset glow. 



108 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

So oftentimes we find our progress stayed 
By stones that bar the steps we fain had trod. 
Whereat we murmur with a sense of 
wrong ; 
Unmindful that by means like this is made 
That sea of glass where stand the saints of 
God 
To sing the new and never-ending song. 

NO ROOM 

STRANGELY the wondrous story doth 
begin 
Of that which came to pass on 
Christmas Day — 
44 The new-born babe within a manger lay 
Because there was no room inside the inn/' 
No room for Him Who came to conquer sin 
And bid distress and mourning flee away ! 
So in the stable He was fain to stay 
Whilst revelry and riot reigned within. 
And still the same old tale is told again : 
The world is full of greed and gain and 
glee, 
And has no room for God because of 
them. 
Lord, though my heart be filled with joy or 
pain, 
Grant that it ne'er may find no room for 

Thee, 
Like that benighted inn at Bethlehem ! 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 109 

WVLFRVNAS HAMPTON 

( Wolverhampton) 

NOW certain women carved their names 
in stone 
That whosoever ran the same might 
read. 
Cambridge was founded by Saint Ethel- 
drede, 
The holy daughter of an Anglian throne : 
Saint Frideswide it was made Oxford known 
By many a generous gift and godly deed : 
Saint Hilda nobly helped Northumbrian 
need : 
When Whitby's abbey to full height had 

grown. 
Wulfruna likewise chose the better part ; 
And in the midst of this our Mercian plain 
A stately minster to God's glory raised, 
To prove thereafter to the thronging mart 
That favour is deceitful, beauty vain, 
But she that fears her Maker shall be 
praised. 

SUNSHINE AND SHADOW 

ONE sunny day, as on my way I went, 
And stooped to pluck the flowers I 
loved so well, 
I saw that on each bloom o'er which I bent, 
My shadow fell ; 



110 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

But when my wandering glances left the 
ground 
And travelled sunwards up the shafts of 

light, 

The shadow fell behind me, and I found 
That all was bright. 

So when, with earthward gaze, we set our 
minds 
On flowers beside life's pathway blooming 
fair, 
Whoever stoops to seize their beauties finds 

A shadow there : 
But if, with eyes uplifted, we are wont 
To scan the heavenward stair the angels 
trod, 
Behind us is the shadow, and in front 
The light of God. 



IN MEMOR1AM 

James Fraser, Lord Bishop of Manchester 

SO he has gone from us ! has gone for 
ever, 
Far, far beyond the reach of earthly 
fame, 
And left behind, to be forgotten never, 
A name. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 111 

We mourn him, but he does not heed our 
sorrow, 
Nor mark our hearts with grief for him 
opprest, 
For now on him has dawned the grand to- 
morrow 

Of rest. 

That shining light was his which never paleth. 

But shineth on unto the perfect day ; 
That charity was his which never faileth 
For aye. 

Right bravely through the world his way he 
wended — 
Life's toils and conflicts now for him are 
past ; 
To Sion's Hill the victor has ascended 
At last. 

Now he has joined that throng of every nation 
And tribe and kindred, who have fought the 
fight, 
And walk with Christ, their Captain of Salva- 
tion, 

In white. 

He cannot hear the tones of weeping mortals, 

For he is welcomed by the angels' cry : 
" Lift up your heads, ye everlasting portals, 
On high ! " 



112 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

He cannot heed our bitter lamentation, 
For — bending low before the Great White 
Throne — 
He hears the words of gracious commenda- 
tion, 

44 Well done ! " 



PURPLE AND GOLD 

THE golden corn and the purple heather 
In royal state did the land enfold ; 
And the children laughed in the sunny 
weather, 
And clapped their hands at the purple and 
gold. 

One short month passed, and brought with 
it the sadness 
Of Autumn winds and of Autumn rain, 
And though still the children laughed in 
their gladness, 
They looked for the purple and gold in 
vain. 

I wondered whether their hearts were tender 
And sad that such beauty had passed away. 

So 1 asked them what had become of the 
splendour 
That crowned the country the other day. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 113 

They smiled at my ignorance all unaided, 
And told me a secret I ought to know — 

How the purple and gold were not lost nor 
faded, 
But every year were obliged to go ; 

For the purple and gold of the Summers 
olden 

Were used to build, as the angels list, 
A City on high, where the streets are golden, 

And the walls are glowing with amethyst. 

As I heard the children's quaint little story, 
Methought that it brought a message to 
all, 

For we all are sighing for faded glory, 
And longing for pleasures beyond recall. 

But the children should teach us to cease 
our sighing, 
And let our lives with fresh hopes be 
crowned ; 
There are no such things as losing and 
dying, 
For the dead are alive, and the lost are 
found. 

The joys that we mourn in such deep dejec- 
tion 
Were carried away by an angel hand, 

8 



114 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

To make more fair in their full perfection 
Our mansions prepared in the far-off land. 

We shall find them again, all those treasures 
olden — 
Not one shall be wanting, not one be 
missed — 
In a City on high, where the streets are 
golden, 
And the walls are glowing with amethyst. 



"GOLD AND FRANKINCENSE AND 
MYRRH " 

ONE Christmas Day, in long-forgotten 
years, 
A beggar wept exceeding bitter tears ; 
For, whilst the thronging people went their 

way 
To God's own house to keep His holy day. 
To deck with offerings meet the Saviour's 

shrine, 
And praise with carols sweet the Babe divine. 
So poor was he, he could not e'en afford 
The humblest gift wherewith to greet his 
Lord. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 115 

As, sad at heart, the weary beggar wept, 
It chanced he fell asleep, and whilst he slept 
He dreamed there passed before his tear- 
dimmed eyes 
Three men in strange and Oriental guise, 
Who — guided by a bright and wondrous 

star — 
Had left their Eastern home and travelled far, 
And still were pressing onwards night and day 
To reach the manger where the Saviour lay. 

The first — a stately man of noble mien, 
With wise and thoughtful eye and brow 

serene — 
Addressed the sleeper thus : " Pure gold I 

bring 
To sacrifice before the new-born King." 
Then spake the second — who was young and 

fair : 
4 A costly gift of frankincense I bear, 
Distilled from all the sweetest things on earth, 
And therefore meet to grace a Monarch's 

birth." 

The third — a weary traveller, worn and old — 
Sighed : " I have neither frankincense nor 

gold ; 
To me life brings the bitter, not the sweet, 
And poor indeed I go my King to meet : 



116 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

1 ne'er have found pure gold without alloy, 
Nor yet the frankincense of love and joy ; 
Still all I have I give Him, and believe 
That e'en my bitter myrrh he will receive." 

An angel's voice made answer : " Blest are 

they 
Who dedicate their gold to God, and pray 
That He thereof will fashion crowns of light 
To wreathe their brows who well have fought 

the fight. 
Twice blest are they who bring the costly 

spice 
Of life's most precious gifts as sacrifice ; 
For all such incense burnt before the Lord 
One day a thousandfold shall be restored. 



"Thrice blest are they who — having nought 

at all 
To offer save the wormwood and the gall — 
Lay down their sorrows 'neath their Saviour's 

feet ; 
For He shall change their bitter into sweet, 
His loving Hand shall wipe away their tears, 
His gracious Smile dispel their doubts and 

fears ; 
Eternal joy shall turn their night to day, 
Whilst grief and sighing swiftly flee away." 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 117 

The beggar wept for joy : " Ah ! now I learn," 
He cried, M that even I may come in turn 
To lay my gift before the new-born King, 
Whose praises all the host of Heaven sing : 
Some give Him costly gold, and some prefer 
Sweet frankincense — I nought can bring but 

myrrh ; 
Yet God my offering will not worthless deem." 
The beggar woke — and lo ! it was a dream. 



THE HERM11 

SAFE in the shelter of a lonely glen — 
A refuge which the distant hum of men 
Could reach but faintly — 
Untouched by human blame or human praise 
There dwelt in ancient, half-forgotten days 
A hermit saintly. 



With rapture was his spirit wont to burn ; 
Each night of prayer was followed in its turn 

By prayerful morrows : 
He heeded not, in his exalted life, 
The sordid cares of men, their paltry strife, 

Their sins and sorrows. 



118 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

As he one Christmas-Eve his vigil kept, 
Whilst Nature 'neath her snowy mantle slept, 

He saw with wonder 
An angel standing smiling by his side, 
Whilst Heav'n to hosts seraphic opened wide 

Its gates of thunder. 

In silent awe the hermit bowed his head : 
44 Fear not, my son," the angel sweetly said 

In accents ringing ; 
44 Our Christmas carol strive to learn by 

heart, 
And see if thou art fit to take thy part 

In Heavens singing." 

44 Glory to God ! n bright hosts of seraphs sang, 
44 Glory to God ! ' the highest Heavens rang, 

44 To God be glory ! " 
44 Oh, angel ! H cried the hermit, growing bold, 
44 This can I sing, for all my life has told 

The self-same story." 

The angel smiled — 44 And art thou then as fain 
To sing the second part of Heaven's strain ? H 

In tones sonorous 
The white-robed carol-singers chanted then, 
44 Peace on the earth, and good-will unto 
men ! — 

So ran the chorus. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 119 

In tearful shame the hermit bowed his head : 
" I cannot learn the angels' song/' he said, 

44 Nor sing it duly ; 
To God great glory I have ever given, 
But yet to save mens souls I have not striven, 

Nor loved them truly." 

The angel answered gently, " Grieve not so ! 
Two things compose man's duty here below — 

Thou hast the one done ; 
In this thou hast not been of grace bereft, 
Yet none the less thou shouldst not then 
have left 

The other undone." 

" Be comforted ! it is not yet too late ; 
Ne'er closed to those who knock is Heaven's 
gate. 

Now do thy duty — 
Love well thy fellow-creatures, and ere long 
Thine own shall be the sweet seraphic song 

In all its beauty." 

The hermit straightway left his lonely glen, 
And lived and worked amongst his fellow-men 

Like holy leaven : 
At last — the carol learnt — he ceased to roam, 
And then the angels bore him safely home 

To sing in Heaven. 



120 SACRED POEMS 

IMPERFECTIONS 

ONE day I grieved because our greatest 
gain 
Grows pale beside the smallest loss 
we feel ; 
One hour of wrong can years of right 
repeal ; 
One faulty link can spoil the strongest chain ; 
One little thorn can cause a cruel pain 
That twice ten thousand roses cannot heal ; 
One harsh discordant note can straightway 
steal 
All harmony from e'en the sweetest strain. 
To these my doubts there came an answer 
sure— 
" God's laws are right if rightly understood ! 
Man's patent of perfection lies in this, 
That nought imperfect can his soul endure : 
The highest natures seek the highest good 
Till they are perfect as their Father is." 



THOMAS FURLONG 

OH ! IF THE ATHEISTS WORDS 
WERE TRUE 

OH ! if the Atheists' words were true, 
If those we seek to save 
Sink — and in sinking from our view 
Are lost beyond the grave ! 
If life thus closed — how dark and drear 
Would this bewildered earth appear, 

Scarce worth the dust it gave, 
A tract of black sepulchral gloom, 
One yawning, ever-opening tomb. 

Blest be that strain of high belief, 
More heaven-like, more sublime, 
Which says, that they who part in grief, 

Part only for a time ! 
That far beyond this speck of pain, 
Far o'er the glooming grave's domain, 

There spreads a brighter clime, 
Where care and toil, and trouble o'er, 
Friends meet, and, meeting, weep no more. 



121 



NORMAN GALE 

BEFORE SLEEP 

HOW better, Father, could we pray 
Than thus at end of honest day, 
Naked at heart, without pretence, 
Secure in simple excellence, 
A wife and husband, hand in hand, 
At prayers among the sleeping band 
Of angels whom Thy love hath lent 
To bind our household sacrament ? 

When better, Father, could we ask 
Thy care than after righteous task, 
The need well met, the dream refused, 
The oil not spilled, the clean lamp used ? 
Two grey-haired children kneel to Thee, 
In suit for fresh felicity, 
Whose married worship to Thine ear, 
Allowed, parental, rises clear. 

Nor wealth, nor place as gifts Divine 
I ask to fall on sons of mine ; 
But most of all, a nature sure 
To share the heart with rich and poor. 
O give them tears ! O make them feel 
An inward energy to heal, 
That never, full of frosty pride, 
They pass upon the other side. 

122 



SACRED POEMS 123 

Behold these children, Father, God, 
Their strip of life so briefly trod ; 
Their hearts unshaded by the gloom, 
Their eyes scarce looking past a bloom. 
To act as ministers in these 
Implant such holy qualities 
That they may march with love unspent, 
And in Thy discipline content. 



DAWN AND DARK 



G 



OD with His million cares 
Went to the left or right, 
Leaving our world ; and the day 
Grew night. 



Back from a sphere He came 

Over a starry lawn, 
Looked at our world, and the dark 
Grew dawn. 



A PRAYER 



T 



END me my birds, and bring again 
The brotherhood of woodland life, 
So shall I wear the seasons round, 
A friend to need, a foe to strife. 



124 SACRED POEMS 

Keep me my heritage of lawn, 
And grant me, Father, till I die 

The fine sincerity of light 
And luxury of open sky. 

So, learning always, may I find 
My heaven around me everywhere 

And go in hope from this to Thee, 
The pupil of Thy country air. 



RICHARD LE GALLIENNE 

THE SECOND CRUCIEIXION 



L 



OUD mockers in the roaring street 
Say Christ is crucified again : 
Twice pierced His gospel-bringing feet, 
Twice broken His great heart in vain. 



I hear, and to myself I smile, 

For Christ talks with me all the while. 

No angel now to roll the stone 
From off His unawaking sleep, 

In vain shall Mary watch alone, 
In vain the soldiers vigil keep. 

Yet while they deem my Lord is dead 
My eyes are on His shining head. 

Ah ! never more shall Mary hear 
That voice exceeding sweet and low 

Within the garden calling clear : 
Her Lord is gone, and she must go. 

Yet all the while my Lord I meet 
In every London lane and street. 

Poor Lazarus shall wait in vain, 
And Bartimaeus still go blind ; 
The healing hem shall ne'er again 

Be touched by suffering humankind. 

125 



126 SACRED POEMS 

Yet all the while I see them rest, 
The poor and outcast, in His breast. 

No more unto the stubborn heart 
With gentle knocking shall He plead, 

No more the mystic pity start, 

For Christ twice dead is dead indeed. 

So in the street I hear men say, 
Yet Christ is with me all the day. 



SIR ROBERT GRANT 

WHEN GATHERING CLOUDS 

WHEN gathering clouds around I 
view, 
And days are dark and friends are 
few, 
On Him I lean, who not in vain 
Experienced every human pain ; 
He sees my wants, allays my fears, 
And counts and treasures up my tears. 

If aught should tempt my soul to stray 

From heavenly wisdom's narrow way ; 

To fly the good I would pursue, 

Or do the sin I would not do ; 

Still He, who felt temptation's power, 

Shall guard me in that dangerous hour. 

If wounded love my bosom swell, 
Deceived by those I prized too well ; 
He shall His pitying aid bestow, 
Who felt on earth severer woe ; 
At once betrayed, denied, or fled, 
By those who shared His dailv bread. 



If vexing thoughts within me rise, 
And, sore dismayed, my spirit dies ; 

127 



128 SACRED POEMS 

Still He, who once vouchsafed to bear 
The sickening anguish of despair, 
Shall sweetly soothe, shall gently dry, 
The throbbing heart, the streaming eye. 

When sorrowing o'er some stone I bend, 
Which covers what was once a friend, 
And from his voice, his hand, his smile, 
Divides me for a little while ; 
Thou, Saviour, mark'st the tears I shed, 
For Thou didst weep o'er Lazarus dead ! 

And O ! when I have safely past 
Through every conflict but the last ; 
Still, still unchanging, watch beside 
My painful bed, for Thou hast died ! 
Then point to realms of cloudless day, 
And wipe the latest tear away ! 



FRANCIS RIDLEY HAVERGAL 

JULY ON THE MOUNTAINS 

THERE is sultry gloom on the mountain 
brow, 
And a sultry glow beneath. 
Oh for a breeze from the western sea, 
Soft and reviving, sweet and free, 
Over the shadowless hill and lea, 
Over the barren heath ! 

There are clouds and darkness around God's 
ways, 

And the noon of life grows hot ; 
And though His faithfulness standeth fast 
As the mighty mountains, a shroud is cast 
Over its glory, solemn and vast, 

Veiling, but changing it not. 

Send a sweet breeze from Thy sea, O Lord, 
From Thy deep, deep sea of love ; 

Though it lift not the veil from the cloudy 
height, 

Let the brow grow cool and the footsteps light, 

As it comes with holy and soothing might, 
Like the wing of a snowy dove. 



129 



ROBERT STEPHEN HAWKER 

THE CHILD JESUS 
A Cornish Carol 

WELCOME that star in Judah's sky. 
That voice o'er Bethlehem's palmy 
glen : 
The lamp far sages hailed on high, 
The tones that thrilled the shepherd men 
Glory to God in loftiest heaven ! 
Thus angels smote the echoing chord ; 
Glad tidings unto man forgiven, 
Peace from the presence of the Lord ! 

The shepherds sought that birth divine, 
The Wise Men traced their guided way ; 
There, by strange light and mystic sign, 
The God they came to worship lay. 
A human Babe in beauty smiled, 
Where lowing oxen round him trod : 
A maiden clasped her Awful Child, 
Pure offspring of the breath of God. 

Those voices from on high are mute, 
The star the Wise Men saw is dim ; 
But hope still guides the wanderer's foot, 
And faith renews the angel hymn : 
Glory to God in loftiest heaven ! 
Touch with glad hand the ancient chord ; 
Good tidings unto man forgiven, 

Peace from the presence of the Lord. 

130 



ALFRED HAYES 

MY STUDY 

LET others strive for wealth or praise 
Who care to win ; 
I count myself full blest, if He, 
Who made my study fair to see, 
Grant me but length of quiet days 
To muse therein. 

Its walls, with peach and cherry clad, 

From yonder wold 
Unbosomed, seem as if thereon 
September sunbeams ever shone ; 
They make the air look warm and glad 

When winds are cold. 

Around its door a clematis 

Her arms doth tie ; 
Through leafy lattices I view 
Its endless corridors of blue 
Curtained with clouds ; its ceiling is 

The marbled sky. 

A verdant carpet smoothly laid 

Doth oft invite 

My silent steps ; thereon the sun 

With silver thread of dew hath spun 

Devices rare — the warp of shade, 

The weft of light. 
131 



132 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Here dwell my chosen books, whose leaves 

With healing breath 
The ache of discontent assuage, 
And speak from each illumined page 
The patience that my soul reprieves 

From inward death ; 

Some perish with a season's wind, 

And some endure ; 
One robes itself in snow, and one 
In raiment of the rising sun 
Bordered with gold ; — in all I find 

God's signature. 

As on my grassy couch I lie, 

From hedge and tree 
Musicians pipe ; or if the heat 
Subdue the birds, one crooneth sweet 
Whose labour is a lullaby, — 

The slumbrous bee. 

The sun my work doth overlook 

With searching light ; 
The serious moon, the flickering star, 
My midnight lamp and candle are ; 
A soul unhardened is the book 

Wherein I write. 

There labouring, my heart is eased 
Of every care ; 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 133 

Yet often wonderstruck I stand, 
With earnest gaze but idle hand, 
Abashed — for God Himself is pleased 
To labour there. 

Ashamed my faultful task to spell, 

I watch how grows 
The Master's perfect colour-scheme 
Of sunset, or His simpler dream 
Of moonlight, or that miracle 

We name a rose. 

There, in the lap of pure content, 

I still would keep 
The Sabbath of a soul at rest ; 
Nor could I wish a close more blest 
Than there, when life's bright day is spent, 

To fall asleep. 

OS THE MOUNTAIN 

I SCALE the fortress where the winds keep 
ward 
O'er health's unrifled hoard ; 
Each footstep is an ecstasy ; my blood 

Leaps with the sparkling flood 
Of sunshine from God's crystal chalice poured. 
Ascending I behold 
Earth's ancient scroll unfold ; 
The mountain's naked shoulder screens from 
view 



134 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

The valley of last night's expectant rest, 
Whose hamlet, as the prospect grew. 

Shrank to a wood-wren's nest. 
Panting ruth joyful toil at last I stand 

Where taintless breezes range, 
An infant holding Nature by the hand, 
A new-born creature, to myself most strange ; 

Exalted to this sovereign height 
I taste awhile an eagles lone delight ; 
Then, as I scan 
The Makers outspread plan, 
My humbled spirit kneels 
And uncomplaining feels 
The insignificance of Man. 
Around me slumber giant limbs ; below 
The vapours crawl that curtain me from care ; 
A stream unseen is heard to flow ; 
The breast of peace lies bare ; 
Reposing there, 
I gaze along the avenues of air 
To that which seems a sea beyond the sea, 
The dim horizon of eternity. 



CHRISTMAS CAROL 



T 



WO thousand troubled years 
Time's weary brow have worn. 

Since that strange star to shepherds told 
The Prince of Peace was born ; 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 135 

Two thousand years of gloom, 

Of groping toward the light, 
Of prophets scorned and martyrs slain 

And battle done for right. 

But year by year the bells 

The old glad tidings bring, 
And men forget their strife, to keep 

The birthday of the King. 

Christ's kingdom yet will come 

And good prevail o'er ill, 
Though often with a crown of thorns 

We mock the Master still ; 

Yet He will not forsake 
The world for which He died, 

Till all mankind be gathered home 
At the great Christmastide. 



THE SILENT HARP 

POOR harp how desolate ! — The loving 
hand 
That wind-like wandered o'er thy trem- 
ulous strings, 
Culling sweet sheaves of sound or whisper- 
ings 
Aeolian, at the Master's mute command 



136 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Drops lifeless. In that unresponsive land 
What music He from earthly sufferings 
Evoketh and the stress of mortal things, 
Wistful we seek but may not understand. 

Yonder may dwell continual peace, but here 
All peace begetteth and is born of strife, 
And every smile is sister to a tear ; 

Death only can the missing note supply 
That shall resolve the discord of this life ; 
Silence alone is perfect harmony. 



T 



THE LAST CRUSADE 

Extract from " The Burial of Saint Louis" 

" rnr^HANKS be to God ! 

And praised be the Father of all life ! 

Who hideth not the radiance of His 
face 

E'en from His meanest creature, but doth shed 

His bounteous warmth alike on weed and 

flower, 

His bounteous love alike on wretch and king. 

Thine is the first grey glimmer that foretells 

The fresh dominion of ascending Day, 

Ere yet the birds have thrust with dewy wing 

The beaded twigs aside, and shyly chirped 

The half-remembered music of their dreams; 

Thine the first frail anemone that lifts 

A starry head above the mouldering leaves, 

To tell the naked underwood of Spring ; 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 137 

Thine the first sunbeam on the latest snow ; 
Thine the first laughter of the new-born babe ; 
And Thine, dear God, the earliest ray of hope 
That gilds the night and winter of despair. 
Blest be the silent-growing power of Day, 
Blest be the slowly-widening dawn of Truth, 
Blest be the ever-conquering might of Good, 
And blest the surely-coming reign of Love." 



EXTRACT FROM " THE STORMING 
OF NAZARETH" 

ONWARD through the shade 
For half a league they marched, and 
not a sound 
Vexed earth's deep slumber, save the measured 

tread 
Of their own steps, or rustle of the leaves 
When some bright bird broke from his dewy 

bower, 
And down the valley with a startled cry 
Flew to a deeper shelter. But the walls 
Of riven limestone glimmering to the stars 
Grew ever wider parted, till they made 
A sloping circle, like the storm-worn wreck 
Of some great amphitheatre ; and midway 
Adown the slope, and nestling to the plain, 
Asleep beneath the breathing moonlight, lay 
The village-home of Christ. 



438 SACRED POEMS 

O ye, who deem 
The din of cities better than the hush 
Of the bare hills, the pomp of painted roofs 
More glorious than the starry vault of Heaven, 
The strife of factions sweeter than the song 
Of woodland birds, the raiment of a king 
More lovely than the lily, and the roar 
Of nations greater than the still small voice ; 
Ponder it well, or e'er your ears grow deaf 
To God's deep music, that earth's strongest 

soul, 
Who best hath known to cope with pain, and 

grief, 
And shame, and sin, Who best hath held His 

way 
Unflinching through the tempest of the world, 
Most nobly wrestled with the powers of Hell, 
And looked most calmly in the face of Death, 
Drew His vast might, not from the turbid flow 
Of crowded streets, but those pure influences 
Which spring from star and bird and wayside 

flower. 



OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES 

THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS 

THIS is the ship of pearl, which, poets 
feign, 
Sails the unshadowed main, — 
The venturous bark that flings 
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings 
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings, 
And coral reefs lie bare, 
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their 
streaming hair. 

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl ; 
Wrecked is the ship of pearl ! 
And every chambered cell, 
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to 

dwell, 
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell, 
Before thee lies revealed, — 
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed! 

Year after year behold the silent toil 
That spread his lustrous coil ; 
Still, as the spiral grew, 
He left the past years dwelling for the new, 
Stole with soft step its shining archway 
through, 
Built up its idle door, 
Stretched in his last found home, and knew 
the old no more. 

139 



140 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Thanks for the heavenly message brought 
by thee, 
Child of the wandering sea, 
Cast from her lap, forlorn ! 
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born 
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn ! 
While on mine ear it rings, 
Through the deep cave of thought I hear a 
voice that sings : — 

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, 
As the swift seasons roll ! 
Leave thy low- vaulted past ! 
Let each new temple, nobler than the last, 
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more 
vast, 
Till thou at length art free, 
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting 
sea ! 

HYMN 

OUR Father ! while our hearts unlearn 
The creeds that wrong Thy name, 
Still let our hallowed altars burn 
With Faith's undying flame ! 

Not by the lightning-gleams of wrath 
Our souls Thy face shall see, 

The star of Love must light the path 
That leads to Heaven and Thee. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 141 

Help us to read our Master's will 
Through every darkening stain 

That clouds His sacred image still, 
And see Him once again. 

The brother man, the pitying friend, 

Who weeps for human woes, 
Whose pleading words of pardon blend 

With cries of raging foes. 

If 'mid the gathering storms of doubt, 
Our hearts grow faint and cold, 

The strength we cannot live without 
Thy love will not withhold. 

Our prayers accept ; our sins forgive ; 

Our youthful zeal renew ; 
Shapes for us holier lives to live, 

And nobler work to do ! 



LEIGH HUNT 

ABOU BEiV AD HEM 

ABOU BEN ADHEM (may his tribe in- 
crease !) 
Awoke one night from a deep dream 

of peace, 
And saw, within the moonlight in his room, 
.Making it rich, and like the lily in bloom, 
An angel writing in a book of gold ; 
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem 

bold, 
And to the presence in the room he said, 
** What writest thou ? " — The vision raised its 

head, 
And with a look made of all sweet accord, 
Answered, "The names of those who love 

the Lord." 
u And is mine one ? " said Abou ; " Nay, not 

so, 
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low, 
But cheerily still ; and said, " I pray thee then, 
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men. w 

The angel wrote and vanished. The next 

night 
It came again with a great wakening light. 
And showed the names whom love of God 

had blessed, 
And lo ! Ben AdhenVs name led all the rest. 

142 



REV. JOHN A. JENNINGS 

REST 



W 



ANDERING thro' the city 
My heart was sick and sore : 

Full of a feverish longing 

I entered an old church door. 



Dark were the aisles and gloomy : 
Type of my troubled breast. 

Mournful and sad I paced there, 
Eager to be at rest. 

Sudden the sunshine lighted 
The arches with golden stream, 

Chasing the darksome shadows 
With brightly-glancing beam. 

A chord pealed forth from the organ 
Tender, and soft, and sweet : 

Trembling along the pavement 
Like the tread of the angels' feet. 

The light as a voice from Heaven, 
Bid all my care to cease ; 

The chord, as a song of Seraphs, 
Whispered of Gods own peace. 



143 



E. PAULINE JOHNSON 

(TEKAHIONWAKE) 
CHR1STMAST1DE 

I MAY not go to-night to Bethlehem, 
Nor follow star-directed ways, nor tread 
The paths wherein the shepherds walked, 
that led 
To Christ, and peace, and Gods good will to 
men. 

I may not hear the Herald Angels' song 
Peal through the oriental skies, nor see 
The wonder of that Heavenly company 
Announce the King the world had waited long. 

The manger throne I may not kneel before, 
Or see how man to God is reconciled, 
Through pure St Mary's purer, holier child : 
The human Christ these eyes may not adore. 

I may not carry frankincense and myrrh 
With adoration to the Holy One ; 
Nor gold have I to give the Perfect Son, 
To be with those wise kings a worshipper. 

Not mine the joy that Heaven sent to them, 
For ages since Time swung and locked his 

gates, 
But 1 may kneel without — the star still waits. 
To guide me on to holy Bethlehem. 

144 



SACRED POEMS 145 

BRIER 

Good Friday 

BECAUSE, dear Christ, your tender, 
wounded arm 
Bends back the brier that edges 
life's long way, 
That no hurt conies to heart, to soul no harm, 
I do not feel the thorns so much to-day. 

Because I never knew your care to tire, 
Your hand to weary guiding me aright, 

Because you walk before and crush the brier, 
It does not pierce my feet so much to-night. 

Because so often you have hearkened to 
My selfish prayers, I ask but one thing now, 

That these harsh hands of mine add not unto 
The crown of thorns upon your bleeding 
brow. 



PESSEROSO 

SOULLESS is all humanity to me 
To-night. My keenest longing is to be 
Alone, alone with God's grey earth that 
seems 
Pulse of my pulse and consort of my dreams. 

10 



146 SACRED POEMS 

To-night my soul desires no fellowship, 

Or fellow-being ; crave I but to slip 

Thro' space on space, till flesh no more can 

bind, 
And I may quit for aye my fellow kind. 

Let me but feel athwart my cheek the lash 
Of whipping wind, but hear the torrent dash 
Adown the mountain steep, 'twere more my 

choice 
Than touch of human hand, than human 

voice. 

Let me but wander on the shore night-stilled, 
Drinking its darkness till my soul is filled ; 
The breathing of the salt sea on my hair, 
My outstretched hands but grasping empty 
air. 

Let me but feel the pulse of Nature's soul 
Athrob on mine, let seas and thunders roll 
Oer night and me ; sands whirl ; winds, waters 

beat ; 
For God's grey earth has no cheap counterfeit. 



REV. JOHN KEBLE 

THE TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY 
AFTER TR1MTY 

"The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a strang-er 
doth not intermeddle with his joy." — Prov. xiv. 10. 

WHY should we faint and fear to live 
alone, 
Since all alone, so Heaven has 
willed, we die, 
Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own T 
Knows half the reasons why we smile and 
sigh ? 

Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe 
Our hermit spirits dwell, and range apart, 

Our eyes see all around in gloom or glow — 
Hues of their own, fresh borrowed from the 
heart. 

And well it is for us our God should feel 
Alone our secret throbbings : so our prayer 

May readier spring to Heaven, nor spend its- 
zeal 
On cloud-born idols of this lower air. 

For if one heart in perfect sympathy 

Beat with another, answering love for love. 

Weak mortals, all entranced, on earth would lie, 
Nor listen for those purer strains above. 

147 



148 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Or what if Heaven for once its searching light 

Lent to some partial eye, disclosing all 
The rude bad thoughts that in our bosom's 
night 
Wander at large, nor heed Love's gentle 
thrall ? 

Who would not shun the dreary uncouth 
place ? 

As if, fond leaning where her infant slept, 
A mother's arm a serpent should embrace : 

So might we friendless live, and die unwept. 

Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn, 
Thou who canst love us, though Thou read 
us true ; 

As on the bosom of the aerial lawn 

Melts in dim haze each coarse ungentle hue. 



Thou know' st our bitterness — our joys are 
Thine ; 
No stranger Thou to all our wanderings 
wild : 
Nor could we bear to think how every line 
Of us, Thy darkened likeness and defiled, 

Stands in full sunshine of Thy piercing eye, 
But that Thou call'st us Brethren : sweet 
repose 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 149 

Is in that word ! the Lord who dwells on high 
Knows all, yet loves us better than He 
knows. 

THE FOURTH SUSDAY IN LENT 

"Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his 
brother : and he sought where to weep ; and he entered into 
his chamber, and wept there." — Gen. xliii. 30. 

11 There stood no man with him, while Joseph made 
himself known unto his brethren." — Gen. xlv. 1. 



W 



HEN Nature tries her finest touch, 

Weaving her vernal wreath, 
Mark ye, how close she veils her 
round, 
Not to be traced by sight or sound 
Nor soiled by ruder breath ! 



Who ever saw the earliest rose 
First open her sweet breast ? 
Or, when the summer sun goes down, 
The first soft star in evening's crown 
Light up her gleaming crest? 

Fondly we seek the dawning bloom 
On features wan and fair, — 

The gazing eye no change can trace 

But look away a little space, 
Then turn, and, lo ! 'tis there. 



150 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

But there's a sweeter flower than e'er 

Blushed on the rosy spray — 
A brighter star, a richer bloom 
Than e'er did western heaven illume 

At close of summer day. 

Tis Love, the last best gift of Heaven ; 

Love gentle, holy, pure : 
But tenderer than a dove's soft eye, 
The searching sun, the open sky, 

She never could endure. 

Even human Love will shrink from sight 

Here in the coarse rude earth : 
How then should rash intruding glance 
Break in upon her sacred trance 
Who boasts a heavenly birth ? 

So still and secret is her growth. 

Ever the truest heart. 
Where deepest strikes her kindly root 
For hope or joy, for flower or fruit, 

Least knows its happy part. 

God only, and good Angels, look 

Behind the blissful screen — 
As when, triumphant o'er His woes. 
The Son of God by moonlight rose, 

Bv all but Heaven unseen : 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 151 

As when the holy Maid beheld 

Her risen Son and Lord : 
Thought has not colours half so fair 
That she to paint that hour may dare, 

In silence best adored. 

The gracious Dove, that brought from Heaven 

The earnest of our bliss, 
Of many a chosen witness telling 
On many a happy vision dwelling, 

Sings not a note of this. 

So, truest image of the Christ, 

Old Israel's long-lost son, 
What time, with sweet forgiving cheer. 
He called his conscious brethren near, 

Would weep with them alone. 

He could not trust his melting soul 

But in his Maker's sight — 
Then why should gentle hearts and true 
Bare to the rude world's withering view 

Their treasure of delight ! 

No — let the dainty rose awhile 

Her bashful fragrance hide — 
Rend not her silken veil too soon, 
But leave her, in her own soft noon. 

To flourish and abide. 



H. W. LONGFELLOW 

THE DAY IS DOSE 



T 



HE day is done and the darkness 
Falls from the wings of Night, 
As a feather is wafted downward 
From an eagle in his flight. 



I see the lights of the village 

Gleam through the rain and the mist, 
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me, 

That my soul cannot resist : 

A feeling of sadness and longing, 

That is not akin to pain, 
And resembles sorrow only 

As the mist resembles the rain. 

Come, read to me some poem, 
Some simple and heartfelt lay. 

That shall soothe this restless feeling, 
And banish the thoughts of day. 

Not from the grand old masters, 
Not from the bards sublime, 

Whose distant footsteps echo 
Through the corridors of Time. 

For, like strains of martial music, 
Their mighty thoughts suggest 

152 



SACRED POEMS 153 

Life's endless toil and endeavour ; 
And to-night I long for rest. 

Read from some humbler poet, 
Whose songs gushed from his heart, 

As showers from the clouds of summer 
Or tears from the eyelids start ; 



Who, through long days of labour, 
And nights devoid of ease, 

Still heard in his soul the music 
Of wonderful melodies. 



Such songs have power to quiet 
The restless pulse of care, 

And come like the benediction 
That follows after prayer. 



Then read from the treasured volume 

The poem of thy choice, 
And lend to the rhyme of the poet 

The beauty of thy voice ; 

And the night shall be filled with music, 
And the cares, that infest the day, 

Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, 
And as silently steal away. 



154 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

THE LEGES D BEAUTIFUL 

"Had'st thou stayed, I must have fled!" 
That is what the Vision said. 

IN his chamber all alone, 
Kneeling on the floor of stone, 
Prayed the monk in deep contrition 
For his sins of indecision, 
Prayed for greater self-denial 
In temptation and in trial ; 
It was noonday by the dial. 
And the Monk was all alone. 

Suddenly, as if it lightened, 
An unwonted splendour brightened 
All within him and without him 
In that narrow cell of stone ; 
And he saw the Blessed Vision 
Of our Lord, with light Elysian 
Like a vesture wrapped about him, 
Like a garment round him thrown. 

Not as crucified and slain, 

Not in agonies of pain, 

Not with bleeding hands and feet 

Did the Monk his Master see ; 

But as in the village street, 

In the house or harvest-field, 

Halt and lame and blind he healed, 

When He walked in Galilee. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 155 

In an attitude imploring, 

Hands upon his bosom crossed, 

Wondering, worshipping, adoring, 

Knelt the Monk in rapture lost. 

Lord, he thought, in heaven that reignest 

Who am I, that thus Thou deignest 

To reveal Thyself to me ? 

Who am I, that from the centre 

Of Thy glory Thou shouldst enter 

This poor cell, my guest to be ? 

Then amid his exaltation, 
Loud the convent bell appalling, 
From its belfry calling, calling, 
Rang through court and corridor 
With persistent iteration 
He had never heard before. 
It was now the appointed hour 
When alike in shine or shower, 
Winters cold or summer's heat, 
To the convent portals came 
All the blind and halt and lame, 
All the beggars of the street, 
For their daily dole of food 
Dealt them by the brotherhood ■ 
And their almoner was he 
Who upon his bended knee, 
Rapt in silent ecstasy 
Of divinest self-surrender, 
Saw the Vision and the Splendour. 



156 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Deep distress and hesitation 
Mingled with his adoration ; 
Should he go, or should he stay ? 
Should he leave the poor to wail 
Hungry at the convent gate, 
Till the Vision passed away ? 
Should he slight his radiant guest, 
Slight his visitant celestial, 
For a crowd of ragged, bestial 
Beggars at the convent gate? 
Would the Vision there remain ? 
Would the Vision come again ? 

Then a voice within his breast 
Whispered, audible and clear, 
As if to the outward ear : 
" Do thy duty ; that is best ; 
Leave unto thy Lord the rest ! ,1 

Straightway to his feet he started, 
And with longing look intent 
On the Blessed Vision bent, 
Slowly from his cell departed, 
Slowly on his errand went. 

At the gate the poor were waiting. 
Looking through the iron grating, 
With that terror in the eye 
That is only seen in those 
Who amid their wants and woes 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 157 

Hear the sound of doors that close, 
And of feet that pass them by ; 
Grown familiar with disfavour, 
Grown familiar with the savour 
Of the bread by which men die ! 
But to-day, they knew not why, 
Like the gate of Paradise 
Seemed the convent gate to rise, 
Like a sacrament divine 
Seemed to them the bread and wine. 
In his heart the Monk was praying 
Thinking of the homeless poor, 
What they suffer and endure ; 
What we see not, what we see ; 
And the inward voice was saying ; 
"Whatsoever thing thou doest 
To the least of mine and lowest, 
That thou doest unto Me ! " 

Unto Me ! but had the Vision 
Come to him in beggar's clothing, 
Come a mendicant imploring, 
Would he then have knelt adoring, 
Or have listened with derision, 
And have turned away with loathing? 

Thus his conscience put the question, 
Full of troublesome suggestion, 
As at length, with hurried pace, 
Towards his cell he turned his face, 



158 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

And beheld the convent bright 
With a supernatural light, 
Like a luminous cloud expanding 
Over floor and wall and ceiling. 

But he paused with awe-struck feeling 
At the threshold of his door, 
For the Vision still was standing 
As he left it there before, 

When the convent bell appalling, 
From its belfry calling, calling, 
Summoned him to feed the poor. 
Through the long hour intervening 
It had waited his return, 
And he felt his bosom burn, 
Comprehending all the meaning, 
When the Blessed Vision said, 
" Had'st thou stayed, I must have fled ! M 



THE TWO ANGELS 

TWO angels, one of Life and one of 
Death, 
Passed o'er our village as the morn- 
ing broke ; 
The dawn was on their faces, and beneath. 
The sombre houses hearsed with plumes of 
smoke. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 159 

Their attitude and aspect were the same, 
Alike their features and their robes of white ; 

But one was crowned with amaranth, as with 
flame, 
And one with asphodels, like flakes of light. 

I saw them pause on their celestial way ; 

Then I, with deep fear and doubt 

oppressed, 
" Beat not so loud, my heart, lest thou betray 

The place where thy beloved are at rest ! v 

And he who wore the crown of asphodels, 
Descending, at my door began to knock, 

And my soul sank within me, as in wells 
The waters sink before an earthquake's 
shock. 

I recognised the nameless agony, 
The terror and the tremor and the pain, 

That oft before had filled or haunted me 
And now returned with threefold strength 
again. 

The door I opened to my heavenly guest, 
And listened, for I thought I heard God's 
voice ; 

And, knowing whatsoe'er He sent was best, 
Dared neither to lament nor to rejoice. 



160 SACRED POEMS 

Then with a smile, that filled the house with 
light, 
"My errand is not Death, but Life/' he 
said ; 
And ere I answered, passing out of sight, 
On his celestial embassy he sped. 

? Twas at thy door, O friend ! and not at mine. 
The angel with the amaranthine wreath. 

Pausing, descended, and with voice divine. 
Whispered a word that had a sound like 
Death. 

Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom, 

A shadow on those features fair and thin ; 
And softly from that hushed and darkened 

room, 
Two angels issued, where but one went in. 

All is of God ! If He but wave His hand, 
The mists collect, the rain falls thick and 
loud, 
Till, with a smile of light on sea and land, 
Lo ! He looks back from the departing cloud. 

Angels of Life and Death alike are His ; 
Without His leave they pass no threshold 
o'er ; 
Who then would wish or dare, believing this. 
Against His messengers to shut the door? 



G. R. LOWELL 

SONNET 

I CANNOT think that thou shouldst pass 
away, 
Whose life to mine is an eternal law, 
A piece of nature that can have no flaw, 
A new and certain sunrise every day ; 
But, if thou art to be another ray 
About the Sun of Life, and art to live 
Free from all of thee that was fugitive, 
The debt of Love I will more fully pay, 
Not downcast with the thought of thee so high, 
But, rather, raised to be a nobler man, 
And more divine in my humanity, 
As knowing that the waiting eyes which scan 
My life, are lighted by a purer being, 
And ask meek, calm-browed deeds, with it 
agreeing. 



11 161 



HENRY FRANCIS LYTE 

ABIDE WITH ME 

ABIDE with me ! fast falls the even-tide; 
The darkness deepens ; Lord, with me 
abide. 
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee, 
Help of the helpless, O abide with me ! 

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day ; 
Earth's joys grow dim ; its glories pass away: 
Change and decay in all around I see ; 
O Thou, who changest not, abide with me ! 

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word ; 
But, as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord, 
Familiar, condescending, patient, free, 
Come, not to sojourn, but abide, with me ! 

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings ; 
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings; 
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea ; 
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus 'bide with 
me ! 

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile; 
And, though rebellious and perverse mean- 
while, 
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee : 
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me. 

162 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 163 

I need Thy Presence every passing hour : 
What but Thy grace can foil the tempters 



power ? 



Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be? 
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with 



me ! 



I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless : 
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness r 
Where is Death's sting ? where, Grave, thy 

victory' ? 
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me ! 

Hold then Thy cross before my closing eyesL 
Shine through the gloom, and point me to 

the skies ! 
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain 

shadows flee ; 
In life and death, O Lord, abide with me ! 



HE IS M1SE 

LONG did I toil, and knew no earthly 
rest ; 
Far did I rove, and found no certain 
home ; 
At last I sought them in His sheltering breast, 
Who opes His arms, and bids the weary 
come : 



164 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

With Him I found a home, a rest Divine ; 
And I since then am His, and He is mine. 

Yes ! He is mine ! and nought of earthly things, 
Not all the charms of pleasure, wealth, or 
power, 

The fame of heroes, or the pomp of kings, 
Could tempt me to forego His love an hour. 

Go, worthless world, I cry, with all that's thine! 

Go ! I my Saviour's am, and He is mine. 

The good I have is from His stores supplied ; 

The ill is only what He deems the best ; 
He for my Friend, I'm rich with nought 
beside ; 

And poor without Him, though of all possest: 
Changes may come ; I take, or 1 resign ; 
Content, while I am His, while He is mine. 

Whate'er may change, in Him no change is 
seen ; 

A glorious Sun, that wanes not nor declines; 
Above the clouds and storms He walks serene, 

And sweetly on His people's darkness shines: 
All may depart ; I fret not, nor repine, 
While I my Saviour's am, while He is mine. 

He stays me falling, lifts me up when down, 
Reclaims me wandering, guards from every 
foe ; 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 165 

Plants on my worthless brow the victor's 
crown ; 
Which, in return, before His feet I throw, 
Grieved that I cannot better grace His shrine, 
Who deigns to own me His, and He is mine. 

While here, alas ! I know but half His love, 
But half discern Him, and but half adore ; 

But when I meet Him in the realms above, 
I hope to love Him better, praise Him more, 

And feel, and tell, amid the choir Divine, 

How fully I am His, and He is mine. 



GEORGE MACDONALD 

A DREAM OF THE CROSS 



I 



LAY and dreamed. Three crosses stood 

Amid the gloomy air. 
Two bore two men — one was the Good ; 

The third rose waiting, bare. 



A Roman soldier, coming by, 

Mistook me for the third ; 
I lifted up my asking eye 

For Jesus' sign or word. 

I thought He signed that I should yield, 

And give the error way. 
I held my peace ; no word revealed, 

No gesture uttered nay. 

Against the cross a scaffold stood, 
Whence easy hands could nail 

The doomed upon that altar-wood, 
Whose fire burns slow and pale. 

Upon its floor he lifted me ; 

I stood all thoughtful there, 
Waiting until the deadly tree 

My form for fruit should bear. 

Rose up the waves of fear and doubt, 

Rose up from heart to brain ; 

166 



SACRED POEMS 167 

They shut the world of vision out, 
And thus they cried amain : 

" Ah me ! my hands — the hammer's knock — 
The nails — the tearing strength ! " 

My soul replied : " Tis but a shock 
That grows to pain at length." 

44 Ah me ! the awful fight with death ; 

The hours to hang and die ; 
The thirsting gasp for common breath 

That passes heedless by!" 

My soul replied : " A faintness soon 

Will shroud thee in its fold ; 
The hours will go, — the fearful noon 

Rise, pass — and thou art cold. 

44 And for thy suffering, what to thee 

Is that ? or care of thine ? 
Thou living branch upon the tree 

Whose root is the Divine ! 

44 'Tis His to care that thou endure ; 

That pain shall grow or fade ; 
With bleeding hands hang on thy cure i 

He knows what he hath made." 

And still for all the inward wail, 
My foot was firmly pressed ; 



168 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

For still the fear lest I should fail 
Was stronger than the rest. 

And thus I stood, until the strife 

The bonds of slumber brake. 
I felt as I had ruined life, 

Had fled, and come awake 

Yet I was glad, my heart confessed, 

The trial went not on ; 
Glad, likewise, I had stood the test 

As far as it had gone. 

And yet I fear some recreant thought, 

Which now I all forget, 
This painful feeling in me wrought 

Of failure, lingering yet. 

And if the dream had had its scope, 

I might have fled the field ; 
But yet 1 thank Thee for the hope, 

And think I dared not yield. 

SONNET 

AND weep not, though the Beautiful 
decay 
Within thy heart, as daily in thine 
eyes ; 
Thy heart must have its Autumn, its pale 
skies, 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 169 

Leading, mayhap, to Winter's cold dismay. 
Yet doubt not. Beauty doth not pass away ; 
Her form departs not, though her body dies. 
Secure beneath the earth the snowdrop lies, 
Waiting Spring's young resurrection day, 
Through the kind nurture of the Winter cold. 
Nor seek thou by vain effort to revive 
The Summer time, when roses were alive : 
Do thou thy work — be willing to be old ; 
Thy sorrow is the husk that doth enfold 
A gorgeous June for which thou need'st not 
strive. 



SONNET 

AND should the twilight deepen into 
night, 
And sorrow grow to anguish, be thou 
strong ; 
Thou art in God and nothing can go wrong 
That a fresh life-pulse cannot set aright ; 
That thou dost know the darkness, proves 

the light. 
Weep if thou wilt, but weep not thou too long ; 
Or weep and work, for work will lead to song. 
But search thy heart, if hid from all thy sight 
There lie no cause for Beauty's slow decay ; 
If for completeness and diviner youth, 
And not for very love, thou lov'st the truth ; 



170 SACRED POEMS 

If thou hast learned to give thyself away 
For love's own self, not for thyself, I say : 
Were God's love less, the world were lost, 
in sooth. 



SONNET 

AND do not fear to hope. Can poet's 
brain 
More than the Father's heart rich 
good invent ? 
Each time we smell the autumn's dying 

scent, 
We know the primrose time will come again ; 
Not more we hope, nor less would soothe our 

pain. 
Be bounteous in thy faith, for not mis-spent 
Is confidence unto the Father lent : 
Thy need is sown and rooted for His rain. 
His thoughts are as thine own ; nor are His 

ways 
Other than thine, but by their loftier sense 
Of beauty infinite, and love intense. 
Work on. One day, beyond all thoughts of 

praise, 
A sunny joy will crown thy head with rays ; 
Nor other than thy need thy recompense. 



REV. GEORGE MATHESON, D.D. 

O LOVE, THAT WILT NOT LET 
ME GO 

OLOVE, that wilt not let me go, 
I rest my weary soul in thee : 
I give Thee back the life I owe, 
That in Thine ocean depths its flow 
May richer, fuller be. 

O Light, that followest all my way, 

I yield my flick'ring torch to Thee ; 
My heart restores its borrow 1 d ray, 
That in thy sunshines blaze its day 
May brighter, fairer be. 

Joy, that seekest me thro' pain, 

I cannot close my heart to Thee ; 

1 trace the rainbow thro' the rain, 
And feel the promise is not vain, 

That morn shall tearless be. 

Cross, that liftest up my head, 

I dare not ask to fly from Thee ; 

1 lay in dust, life's glory dead, 

And from the ground there blossoms red 
Life that shall endless be. 



171 



B. M. 

DESOLA TE 

11 And her husband went with her along weeping behind 
her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. 
And he returned." x 

WE dwelt together, by the grace of 
God, 
Through golden years of sunshine. 
Day by day 
In raiment white as snow she walked with me, 
And daily grew more dear. Oh, sweet to us, 
Beyond all word or dream, that mutual life 
Which God had given us richly to enjoy, 
Its happy labours, — blessed rests between, — 
Summer and Winter, Spring-time and the joy 
Of Harvest Home. 

Yet even then, I know 
That far above, beyond my duller sight, 
Her hope was centred ; every lovely gift 
That graced our home on earth, was unto her 
A shadow and example of the things 
Prepared in Heaven. Brighter glowed her 

trust, 
More spiritual and still more fair her hope, 
As each fresh blessing from our Father's hand 
Fell softly, crowning us. If thus, she said, 
Beyond all thought or promise, this brief life 

1 This verse is used only as a motto, and the poem bears 
no reference to the history of Michal. 

172 



SACRED POEMS 173 

Grew dear and wonderful, what must it be 
To dwell within the City, fair and still 
Which shall be ours for ever? 

Grief or care 
Had scarcely touched her — in our sheltered 

home 
She knew no sorrow ; Peace and Charity 
Dwelt sweetly where she dwelt, and Joy 

became 
A frequent guest, and loved to sit with her 
And make her sing. Yet pitiful she was 
To all who suffered, measuring loss and woe 
By the large measure of her own deep heart, 
And by the vastness of its treasure. Thus 
Even through joy she knew the secret pang 
Of sorrow ; and through riches, poverty, 
And loss by gain. 

And day by day she sought 
The stricken homes beside whose desolate 
And silent hearths sat Want, or Pain, or 

Death — 
Those terrible guests who ask for no man's 

leave, 
But lift the latch, and enter, and sit down ; — 
There came she, as an angel, with the cup 
Of consolation in her tender hand, 
And ministered, with tears of sympathy, 
To every mourning spirit. 

Golden years 
Of service and of hope swept over us 



174 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Thus sweetly. Brighter grew our home, more 

dear 
Our daily life together ; God Himself 
Shone on us, making all we took in hand 
To grow and prosper. And as time went by 
He daily joined our hearts more perfectly, 
And made us one. 

Until there came a day, — 
A day to me of heaviness and woe 
Beyond repair, — when He who thus had 

blessed 
And bound us to each other, soul to soul, 
Divided us. He claimed His awful right 
To put asunder those whom He had joined. 
His sword is powerful, quick and keen to 

pierce, 
Dividing even soul and spirit, joints 
And marrow, living heart and heart entwined 
In holy wedlock. Who can bid it stay. 
Or say, " Put up thyself, O Sword of God, 
Return into thy scabbard, rest, be still, 
Here is no place for thee " ? How can it rest 
When God hath given it a charge ? 

It fell 
Upon a glorious day in harvest-time, — 
When, under smiling skies, the golden grain 
Was carried home with singing, — that a word 
Was brought unto my love ; the King Himself 
Desired her presence — He would have her 

leave 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 175 

Her home, and all she had, and go to Him. 
Ah ! oftentimes, in peaceful evening hours, 
When we together sat, to see the sun 
Sink smiling toward the sea, my love had 

said, — 
" How sweet if, by the pitying grace of God, 
The sun at length upon us both might set, 
And we together pass into the Dawn 
Of His Celestial Day ! Oh, hand in hand, 
To leave the sweetness of our earthly home 
For one prepared above ; together still 
To enter by the Gate, to see the King, 
And with one heart to taste the cup of 

joy 

Which He has mingled." 

This her tender dream 
Was crossed by Heaven, for she was called 

alone. 
She heard the message, kissed the token sent, 
And rose up, pale but smiling, to depart 
With those who came to seek her. Yet to 

me 
She stretched her hands, and bade me lead 

her forth 
A little way upon this journey strange 
And solemn. " Come with me," she said, " O 

come 
As far, along that shadowy road, — as far 
As any step of mortal man may go 
And yet return." 



176 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Then slowly forth we went, 
Hand locked in hand. We left behind the 

stir 
Of common sounds, we passed into the waste 
And solitary space that girdles round 
Our daily life ; a shadowy path we found. 
And followed but a little way, when, lo ! 
Before us suddenly upon the hills, 
More glorious than the sun, the City shone 
With open gates of welcome, and I saw 
The answering brightness on my dear ones 

face, 
Whilst darkness covered mine. 

The Messengers 
Sent by the King had lingered, — pitying 
My speechless grief, — behind us by the way ; 
But now they came to us, and tenderly 
Withdrew her little clinging hand from mine, 
And gently hastened her, the King's command 
Being urgent. 

Then my love before me went, 
With glad, swift steps ascending, and bright 

face 
Set steadfastly toward Jerusalem ; 
Yet in her joy she still remembered me, 
And paused and turned, and sought by 

sweetest signs 
And looks to cheer me, as I, broken, went 
Behind her weeping. Till the Messengers 
Drew near again, and touched me, saying low, 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 177 

In heavenly voices, soft with pity, — " Go, 
Return. Thou mayst not follow, yet uncalled, 
These happy footsteps to the City gates 
And to the presence of the King. Behold ! 
Already she is passing from thy gaze — 
A bright cloud overshadows her — she goes 
Into the Glory which no man shall see 
And live ; and we attend her. Go, return," 

And I returned. To this bare home of mine 
Where all is changed and dim, and every 

flower 
Has withered in its place, and every sound 
Is charged with sorrow, I returned alone 
And desolate for ever. Nights and days 
Swept over me ; I saw no sun nor stars, 
But sat in equal darkness at noon-day, 
And midnight, for my light was gone from 

me. 
And strange it seemed to think that far 

away 
In the Celestial City, where they know 
No night nor shadow, she in Glory dwelt 
Whilst darkness covered me. 

Yet light was sown 
Even for me, around my ruined home, 
And in a litttle while began to spring : 
The seed my love had scattered far and free 
Beside all waters, now returned to me 
In blessings manifold ; the poor and sad 

12 



178 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Whom she had visited and cheered and fed 
Prayed day and night for me ; until the Love 
That once had seemed so distant — seated far 
Above the heavens — came down and dwelt 

with me, 
Familiar, patient, in this lonely place. 

And I grow patient, too, and am content 
With bare, still days of Winter, softly lit 
By memories of golden Summer flown, 
And hope of perfect Summer yet to come 
Which shall restore my treasure. Day by 

day 
I seek to follow her, and everywhere, — 
In homes of sorrow, in the place of prayer, 
Or in the wide, white Harvest-field, — I find 
And kiss her blessed footprints. 

Far behind, 
Ah ! far behind her, — weeping still at times, 
Yet comforted, — I press toward the Hills 
Where, crowned with joy, my love is waiting 

me. 
On the bright threshold of eternal Peace 
Mine eyes shall see her standing pure as 

snow 
And radiant as the dawn, to welcome me. 
Oh, but to picture that first look, the smile 
With which she will receive me, makes my 

heart 
Grow faint with joy and wonder. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 179 

As a child 
At Home, familiar in the Father's House, 
She, smiling still, will lead me to His feet, 
And I, too, shall behold Him face to Face 
Whom, not having seen, I lore. There shall 

we taste, 
As with one heart, that cup of infinite joy 
Which He hath mingled ; for the King shall 

shine 
Upon us gloriously, and make us one. 
And in the days that follow — golden days, 
Celestial still and clear — she shall be mine, — 
Oh, once again mine own, for ever mine, — 
Spirit to spirit bound in deathless love 
Beneath the shadow of the Throne of God. 



PHILIP BOURKE MARSTON 

TO-MORROW 

I SAID " To-morrow ! " one bleak, wintry 
day 
" To-morrow I will live my life anew," — 

And still " To-morrow ! " while the winter 
grew 
To spring, and yet I dallied by the way, 
And sweet dear Sins still held me in their 
sway : 
" To-morrow ! " I said, while summer days 

wore through ; 
" To-morrow ! M while chill autumn round 
me drew ; 
And so my soul remained the sweet Sins' prey. 

So pass the years, and still, perpetually, 
I cry, " To-morrow will I flee each wile — 

To-morrow, surely, shall my soul stand free, 
Safe from the syren voices that beguile ! " 
But death waits by me with a mocking smile, 

And whispers — " Yea ! To-morrow, verily ! ' 



180 



SACRED POEMS 181 

AFTER LOVE'S PASSING 

THE awful stillness in two human souls 
Whence Love has passed away, 
The dreary night no moon of joy con- 
trols 
The undelightful day — 

The cruel coldness where was once Love's 
heat, 

The darkness where was light, 
The burning, tearless eyes, the weary feet 

That journey day and night — 

The long, dark way that has no end but one — 

That goal no man may miss — 
The winds that wail about the sunken sun 

For life's departed bliss — 

The fearful loneliness that comes between 
Those souls erst one, now twain — 

The passionate memory of what has been ; 
The unavailing pain — 

The springs that come, but bring no hope of 
change ; 
The cheerless, summer hours ; 
With songs of birds grown old, and harsh, 
and strange, 
And scentless, bloomless flowers — 



182 SACRED POEMS 

The fruitless autumn, with no garnered corn, 

The dreary, winter weather — 
The two who walk apart, alone, forlorn, 

Who once kept step together — 

The bitter sense of failure and regret, 

The life without an aim, 
The unavailing struggle to forget 

The weakness, owned with shame — 

These things make sad the night and sad the 
day, 
And hard are they to bear — 
Yet let those souls whence Love has passed 
away 
Though sad, keep pure and fair : 

Ah ! let them say, " Great Love once tarried 
here, 
Making his home divine — 
Though he has passed, yet let us still hold 
dear 
The temple and the shrine." 



LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON 

SELFISH PRAYER 



H 



OW we, poor players on Life's little 

stage, 
Thrust blindly at each other in our 



rage, 
Quarrel and fret yet rashly dare to pray 
To God to help us in our selfish way ! 

We think to move Him with our prayer and 

praise 
To serve our needs — as in the old Greek days 
Their gods came down and mingled in the 

fight, 
With mightier arms the flying foe to smite. 

The laughter of those gods pealed down to 

men, 
For heaven was but earth's upper story, then, 
Where goddesses about an apple strove, 
And the high gods fell humanly in love. 

We own a God whose presence fills the sky — 
Whose sleepless eyes behold the worlds roll 

by- 
Whose faithful memory numbers one by one 
The sons of men, and calls them each His 

son. 



183 



JOHN HENRY NEWMAN 

LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT 

LEAD, kindly light, amid the encircling 
gloom, 
Lead Thou me on : 
The night is dark, and I am far from home, 

Lead Thou me on : 
Keep Thou my feet ; I do not ask to see 
The distant scene ; one step enough for me. 

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou 

Shouldst lead me on : 
I loved to choose and see my path ; but now, 

Lead Thou me on : 
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, 
Pride ruled my will ; remember not past 
years. 

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still 

Will lead me on, 
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till 

The night is gone, 
And with the morn those angel faces smile, 
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. 



184 



ROBERT NICOLL 

A THOUGHT 



Y 



ON sail on the horizon's verge 

Doth like a wandering spirit seem,- 
A shadow in a sea of light — 
The passing of a dream. 



A moment more and it is gone ! 

We know not how — we know not where : 
It came — an instant stayed — and then 

It vanished into air. 

Such are we all : — we sail awhile 
In joy, on life's fair summer sea : 

A moment — and our bark is gone 
Into Eternity. 



185 



BAPTIST WRIOTHESLEY NOEL 

THERE'S NOT A BIRD 

THERE'S not a bird, with lonely nest 
In pathless wood or mountain crest, 
Nor meaner thing, which does not share, 
O God ! in Thy paternal care ! 

There's not a being now accurst, 
Who did not taste Thy goodness first ; 
And every joy the wicked see 
Received its origin from thee. 

Each barren crag, each desert rude, 
Holds Thee within its solitude ; 
And thou dost bless the wanderer there, 
Who makes his solitary prayer. 

In busy mart and crowded street, 
No less than in the still retreat, 
Thou, Lord, art near, our souls to bless 
With all a parents tenderness ! 

And every moment still doth bring 
Thy blessings on its loaded wing ; 
Widely they spread through earth and sky, 
And last to all eternity ! 

186 



SACRED POEMS 187 

Through all creation let Thy Name 
Be echoed with a glad acclaim ! 
That let the grateful Churches sing ; 
With that let heaven for ever ring ! 

And we, where'er our lot is cast, 
While life and thought and feeling last, 
Through all our years, in every place, 
Will bless Thee for Thy boundless grace ! 



GILBERT PARKER 

"LITTLE GARA1SE" 



.. 



W 



HERE do the stars grow, little 

Garaine ? 
The garden of moons, is it far 



awav? 



The orchard of suns, my little Garaine, 
Will you take us there some day ? " 

" If you shut your eyes," quoth little Garaine, 
" I will show you the way to go 

To the orchard of suns and the garden of 
moons 
And the field where the stars do grow. 

" But you must speak soft," quoth little 
Garaine, 

"And still must your footsteps be, 
For a great bear prowls in the field of the stars, 

And the moons they have men to see. 

"And the suns have the Children of Signs 
to guard, 

And they have no pity at all — 
You must not stumble, you must not speak, 

When you come to the orchard wall. 

" The gates are locked," quoth little Garaine, 

" But the way I am going to tell ! 
The key of your heart it will open them all, 

And there's where the darlings dwell ! ' 

188 



SIR NOEL PATON 

u TIMOR MORTIS CONTURBA T ME " 

COULD I have sung one Song that 
should survive 
The singer's voice, and in my 
country's heart 
Find loving echo — evermore a part 
Of all her sweetest memories ; could I give 
One great Thought to the People, that should 
prove 
The spring of noble action in their hour 
Of darkness, or control their headlong 
power 
With the firm reins of Justice and of Love ; 
Could I have traced one Form that should 
express 
The sacred mystery that underlies 
All Beauty, and through man's enraptured 
eyes 
Teach him how beautiful is Holiness, — 
I had not feared thee. But to yield my 

breath, 
Life's Purpose unfulfilled ! — This is thy 
sting, O Death ! 



189 



190 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

NIGHT THOUGHTS 

DARKNESS enfolds me, like the 
sepulchre 
Of universal death ; like a great 
sea — 
Fathomless, shoreless — the infinity 
Of silence whelms me ; in my throbbing ear 
Surging tumultuous, — till I seem to hear 
The cosmic thunder, as the systems wheel 
Afar their monstrous orbits, — even to feel 
The tempest of their waftage. And great fear 
And tribulation fall upon my heart 

Lest haply man, despite his lofty dream 
Of spiritual life, be but a part — 

A ripple of the dead, insensate stream 
Of Force material, for an instant tost 
Within its vortex — then for ever lost. 

n 

Flitting between the two eternities — 
Forgotten Hath-been, and unknown To-be — 
An atom lost in the immensity 
Of Time and Space into the dark abyss 
Still groping — peering ; conscious but of this : 
That I have missed the track ; for track in 

sooth 
There is, — nor all my dreams of Faith and 
Truth 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 191 

But ignes fatui — dread hypothesis ! — 
Of mine own kindling. Yet the unconscious 
world — 
Frail atom, too, on the vast surge of Force 
That buoys the Universe — hath its destined 
course, 
Nor therefrom swerves. Am 1 then blindly 

hurled 
Into the void, to gasp — and perish ? Nay, 
God guides me also on my perilous way. 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL 

1 

IT was the Christmas Eve ; 
The homeless wind did grieve 
Around the desolate moorland, 
blind with snow ; 
When at my wattle door — 
Shelter how frail and poor ! 
I heard the sound of weeping — very low. 
And peering forth into the wild 
And dreary night — lo ! on the threshold 
stood a child. 



His tiny feet were bare, 
The snow was in his hair, 
The snow was on his fluttering raggedness. 



192 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

"Pity a little one 

Out in the storm alone/' 
He feebly murmured in his sore distress. 
Within my arms I gathered him, 
And bore with soothing words into my 

chamber dim. 



And as I bore him in 
There came the silvery din 
Of bells, far-chiming through the fitful blore, 
And from his pallid brow 
A sweet light seemed to flow, 
And from his tattered garment wintry-frore ; 
While from his eyes a look there came 
Of love that thrilled like fire through all 
my trembling frame. 



I laid him on my bed, 
And water brought and bread — 
The last scant remnant of my hermit fare, — 
Whereof he took, and slept ; 
While by his side I kept 
Dark vigil,— all my spirit bowed in prayer, 
Towards the dawning of the morn 
Whereon our Blessed Lord and Saviour, 
Christ, was born. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 193 



But, hungered and a-cold 
Ere half my beads were told 
The gentle boon of sleep to me was given ; 
And in a solemn dream 
I saw the wondrous gleam 
Of that strange star high in the eastern 
heaven 
That led the Magi on their way, 
What time the King of kings within the 
manger lay ; 



I saw the angel throng, 
Heard, too, the heavenly song 
Beside the shepherds in the fields by night, 
And eager ran with them 
To where in Bethlehem 
We found the Holy Babe in swaddlings white. 
And kneeling in the sacred place 
I saw — and wept to see — in His my 
wanderer's face ! 



But they were tears of bliss, — 
And bending low to kiss 
In loving awe the rosy-tender feet — 

The vision passed ; and — strange ! 
What means this mystic change 

13 



194 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Of all that doth my rapt observance meet ? 
A blazing Yule-log on the hearth 
Fills my late darksome cell with light and 
warmth and mirth ! 



8 

Upon my table bare 
A golden Chalice fair 
Shone brimmed with wine ; a golden Paten 
held 
Bread broken ; a pale Rood 
Beside them shadowy stood ; 
And from the piteous wounds the warm blood 
welled . . . 
I turned to rouse my sleeping one ; 
But vacant stood the bed — and I was all 
alone. 



I sank upon my knees, 
While once more on the breeze 
The Christmas bells came sounding joyously ; 
And on a scroll o'er head 
Written in light I read 
The legend : " Thou hast done it unto ME." 
And I forgot my sins and cares, 
For then I knew HE had been with me 
unawares. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 195 

10 

And from that hour to this 
My fire unquenched is ; 
By daily use unminished, on the board 
Still stand the bread and wine ; 
And this poor cote of mine, 
Still radiant from the presence of The Lord, 
Is a rich temple, where I bide 
Fearless His angel's summons, — His what- 
e'er betide. 



REV. T. B. POLLOCK 

MY FR1EXDS IN PARADISE 

FRIENDS of my childhood, guardians of 
my youth, 
Who made my morn of life so bright 
and fair ; 
In whom I saw the loveliness of Truth, 
And learned to love it, loving what ye were ; 

In you the forming of a heavenly hand, 
The work of God's own Spirit I could see, 

Preparing you for that pure, peaceful land, 
Where you were going, ah, too soon for me ! 

What can the joy of early days restore ? 

Earth ne'er can be again what earth has 
been ; 
You made life what it was to me before, 

And dearness gave to each familiar scene. 

And you are gone ; I miss you day by day, 
I look around, and for your comfort yearn ; 

But onward I must tread my lonely way, 
For you will never, never more return. 

Your looks of love that used my heart to cheer 

Shall never beam again from mortal eyes ; 

Your voices speak not now to mourners here, 

But sing with happy saints beyond the skies. 

196 



SACRED POEMS 197 

Your fight is o'er, your work is done below, 
Safe in the waiting land you calmly rest ; 

Still learning ever more and more to know 
With joy how deep God's chosen ones are 
blest. 

You cannot come to me, nor could I dare 
To wish you back in this dark world of pain ; 

But I may go to Paradise, and there, 
In brighter scenes enjoy your love again. 

A little more of waiting must be mine, 

More work for God to try my faith and love ; 

Then we may meet where you already shine, 
And live together in the homes above. 

But, have I only thoughts of vanished days, 
And hopes of meeting in the realms afar ? 

Must I my yearning spirit never raise 

To think upon and love you where you are ? 

The memory of love will not avail 
The craving of the soul to satisfy ; 

Love must love on, though sight and know- 
ledge fail, 
And Faith must quicken it, or Love will die. 

I did not feel, though sorrow bowed my head, 
As each dear form was laid with kindred 
clay, 



198 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

That out of sight I buried then my dead, 
That heart and thought must turn from you 
away. 

It cannot be ; my thoughts, with restless wing, 
Far, far from earth to follow you will roam ; 

My heart will still its truest offering bring, 
As when I loved you in my childhoods 
home. 

Though other friends are dear, they yet are new, 
And never can be precious as the old ; 

The love that clings so tenderly to you 
Will not be loosened others to enfold. 

And as I feel with all the joy of those 

Who still can greet me with a friendly hand ; 

I surely may desire the full repose 

Of dearer friends who tread the spirit land. 

Need I drive back the instinct of my heart, 
This impulse true, that nature makes me feel ? 

Fire from its light and warmth I may not part ; 
1 cannot love you, and not wish your weal. 

If God can give you more of God's own light, 
And draw you nearer to the fount of joy, 

I must desire that you may reach the height 
Where purest rapture may your songs 
employ. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 199 

But though my lips have uttered not a word, 
Has not my soul looked up to God in prayer? 

He knows the love by which my heart is 
stirred, 
Each longing unexprest that rises there. 

Yes, I have prayed, although I never knew 
What meaning in my silent yearnings dwelt ; 

And God has listened to the prayers for you 
That rose unbidden from the love I felt. 

And am I told that, when I bow the knee, 
And tell my wants to Him who reigns above 

1 may remember many dear to me, 

But must forget the friends whom most I 
love ? 

Ah, never ! God is kinder far than man, 
He nowhere tells me of the heartless creed 

Of those who threaten me with fiercest ban 
If \ should venture for your souls to plead. 

I ask not what you need, I ask not how 
You may be blessed in answer to my cry ; 

I only know you are imperfect now, 

Though nearer to your full reward than I : 

And He in whom alone we all do live, 
You in your rest, and I who toil below, 



200 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Who hears your pra\ers and mine, will wisely 
give 
What most we need that we may perfect 
grow. 

"SAVIOUR MOST LOVING" 

SAVIOUR most loving, bending before 
Thee, 
Sinful and mourning, Thy mercy we 
crave ; 
Leave us not hopeless, Lord, we implore Thee, 
Thou hast redeemed us, O hear and save. 

Fountain, where sinners find ever flowing 
Streams that wash all their defilement away, 

To those pure waters thankfully going, 
We would for mercy and cleansing pray. 

Gentle Physician, mortal ills healing, 

Bending in love o'er each sin-stricken soul, 

Come, all Thy care and goodness revealing, 
Strengthen our weakness and make us 
whole. 

Shepherd most careful, warn us when stray- 
ing, 
Guide us in paths where Thine own feet 
have trod ; 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 201 

Led by Thy call, Thy dear voice obeying, 
Bring us in peace to the fold of God. 

Light where the path is shadowed and dreary> 
Friend of the hearts that in loneliness pine ; 

Help of the poor, and strength of the weary, 
Where is the love that is like to Thine ? 

Lord, we would follow where Thou dost 
call us, 

Patient in sorrow and valiant in fight ; 
May we be true, whatever befall us, 

Journeying on to the land of light. 

There, Lord, with gladness laying before Thee 
Each heavy cross we have carried so long ; 
Crowned with Thy blessing, we shall adore 
Thee 
Singing for ever the triumph song. 

Amen 



ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER 

FRIES D SORROW 



D 



O not cheat thy Heart and tell her, 
Grief will pass away — 
44 Hope for fairer times in future, 
And forget to-day." 
Tell her, if you will, that sorrow 

Need not come in vain ; 
Tell her that the lesson taught her 
Far outweighs the pain. 

Cheat her not with the old comfort, 

44 Soon she will forget" — 
Bitter truth, alas ! but matter 

Rather for regret ; 
Bid her not "Seek other pleasures, 

Turn to other things" : — 
Rather nurse her caged sorrow 

Till the captive sings. 

Rather bid her go forth bravely, 

And the stranger greet : 
Not as foe, with shield and buckler, 

But as dear friends meet ; 
Bid her with a strong clasp hold her, 

By her dusky wings ; 
And she'll whisper low and gently 

Blessings that she brings. 

202 



SACRED POEMS 203 

THANKFULNESS 

MY God, I thank Thee, Who hast made 
The earth so bright, 
So full of splendour and of joy, 
Beauty and light ; 
So many glorious things are here, 
Noble and right. 

I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made 

Joy to abound ; 
So many gentle thoughts and deeds 

Circling us round, 
That in the darkest spot of earth 

Some love is found. 

I thank Thee more that all our joy 

Is touched with pain ; 
That shadows fall on brightest hours ; 

That thorns remain : 
So that earth's bliss may be our guide, 

And not our chain. 

I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kept 

The best in store ; 
We have enough, yet not too much 

To long for more : 
A yearning for a deeper peace 

Not known before. 



204 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls, 

Though amply blest, 
Can never find, although they seek, 

A perfect rest ; 
Nor ever shall, until they lean 

On Jesus' breast. 

PER PACEM AD LUC EM 

I DO not ask, O Lord, that life may be 
A pleasant road ; 
I do not ask that Thou wouldst take 
from me 
Aught of its load ; 

I do not ask that flowers should always spring 

Beneath my feet ; 
I know too well the poison and the sting 

Of things too sweet. 

For one thing only, Lord, dear Lord, I plead, 

Lead me aright — 
Though strength should falter, and though 
heart should bleed — 

Through Peace to Light. 



I do not ask, O Lord, that Thou shouldst shed 

Full radiance here ; 
Give but a ray of peace, that I may tread 

Without a fear. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 203 

I do not ask my cross to understand, 

My way to see ; 
Better in darkness just to feel Thy hand 

And follow Thee. 

Joy is like restless day ; but peace divine 

Like quiet night : 
Lead me, O Lord, — till perfect Day shall shine, 

Through Peace to Light. 

STRIVE, WAIT, AND PRAY 

STRIVE, yet I do not promise 
The prize you dream of to-day 
Will not fade when you think to 
grasp it, 
And melt in your hand away ; 
But another and holier treasure, 

You would now perchance disdain, 
Will come when your toil is over, 
And pay you for all your pain. 

Wait ; yet I do not tell you 

The hour you long for now 
Will not come with its radiance vanished. 

And a shadow upon its brow ; 
Yet far through the misty future, 

With a crown of starry light, 
An hour of joy you know not 

Is swinging her silent flight 



206 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Pray ; though the gift you ask for 

May never comfort your fears, 
May never repay your pleading, 

Yet pray and with hopeful tears ; 
An answer, not that you long for, 

But diviner, will come one day ; 
Your eyes are too dim to see it, 

Yet strive, and wait, and pray. 



A FIRST SORROW 



A 



RISE ! this day shall shine 

For evermore, 
To thee a star divine, 
On Time's dark shore. 



Till now thy soul has been 

All glad and gay : 
Bid it awake and look 

At grief to-day ! 



No shade has come between 

Thee and the sun ; 
Like some long childish dream 

Thy life has run : 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 207 

But now the stream has reached 

A dark, deep sea, 
And Sorrow, dim and crowned, 

Is waiting thee. 

Each of God's soldiers bears 

A sword divine : 
Stretch out thy trembling hands 

To-day for thine ! 

To each anointed Priest 

God's summons came : 
O Soul, He speaks to-day, 

And calls thy name. 

Then with slow, reverent step, 

And beating heart, 
From out thy joyous days 

Thou must depart. 

And leaving all behind, 

Come forth alone, 
To join the chosen band 

Around the throne. 

Raise up thine eyes — be strong, 

Nor cast away 
The crown that God has given 

Thy soul to-day. 



208 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

SOWING AND REAPING 

SOW with a generous hand ; 
Pause not for toil or pain ; 
Weary not through the heat of sum- 
mer, 
Weary not through the cold spring rain ; 
But wait till the autumn comes 
For the sheaves of golden grain. 

Scatter the seed and fear not, 

A table will be spread ; 
What matter if you are too weary 

To eat your hard-earned bread ! 
Sow, while the earth is broken, 

For the hungry must be fed. 

Sow ; — while the seeds are lying 
In the warm earths bosom deep, 

And your warm tears fall upon it, — 
They will stir in their quiet sleep ; 

And the green blades rise the quicker. 
Perchance, for the tears you weep. 

Then sow ; — for the hours are fleeting, 

And the seed must fall to-day ; 
And care not what hands shall reap it, 

Or if you shall have passed away 
Before the waving cornfields 

Shall gladden the sunny day. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 209 

Sow ; and look onward, upward. 
Where the starry light appears, — 

Where, in spite of the coward's doubting, 
Or your own heart's trembling fears, 

You shall reap in joy the harvest 
You have sown to-dav in tears. 



THE PEACE OF GOD 

WE ask for Peace, O Lord ! 
Thy children ask Thy Peace ; 
Not what the world calls rest, 
That toil and care should cease, 
That through bright sunny hours 

Calm Life should fleet away, 
And tranquil night should fade 
In smiling day ; — 

It is not for such Peace that we would 
pray. 

We ask for Peace, O Lord ! 

Yet not to stand secure, 
Girt round with iron Pride, 

Contented to endure : 
Crushing the gentle strings 

That human hearts should know, 
Untouched by others' joy 

Or others' woe ; — 

Thou, O dear Lord, wilt never teach us so. 

14 



210 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

We ask Thy Peace, O Lord ! 

Through storm, and fear, and strife, 
To light and guide us on, 

Through a long, struggling life : 
While no success or gain 

Shall cheer the desperate fight, 
Or nerve, what the world calls 

Our wasted might : — 

Yet pressing through the darkness to the 
light. 

It is Thine own, O Lord, 

Who toil while others sleep ; 
Who sow with loving care 

What other hands shall reap. 
They lean on Thee entranced, 

In calm and perfect rest : 
Give us that Peace, O Lord, 

Divine and blest, 

Thou keepest for those hearts who love Thee 
best. 

IF THOU COULDST KNOW 

I THINK if thou couldst know, 
O soul that will complain 
What lies concealed below 
Our burden and our pain ; 
How just our anguish brings 
Nearer those longed-for things 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 211 

We seek for now in vain, — 
I think thou wouldst rejoice, and not com- 
plain. 

I think if thou couldst see, 

With thy dim mortal sight, 
How meanings, dark to thee, 

Are shadows hiding light ; 
Truth's efforts crossed and vexed, 
Life's purpose all perplexed, — 
If thou couldst see them right, 
I think that they would seem all clear and 
wise, and bright. 

And yet thou canst not know, 

And yet thou canst not see ; 
Wisdom and sight are slow 

In poor humanity. 
If thou couldst trust, poor soul, 
In Him who rules the whole, 
Thou wouldst find peace and rest : 
Wisdom and sight are well but Trust is best. 



REV. H. I. D. RYDER 

AN1M& F1DEL1UM 

NO brightness of the sky 
To tell us where they lie ; 
The winds that winnow by 
Make no report ; 



Their cradle and their bier 
The earth, says, "They were here. 
But now no more appear 
In their resort." 



Their footprints all around 
Yet make it holy ground ; 
The way they went, the sound 
Has died away. 

The words which they have writ 
Of pathos or of wit 
The paper may not quit, 
But where are they ? 

Ah ! vainly still we ask : 
It is not nature's task 
To tear away the mask 
Where God is hid. 

212 



SACRED POEMS 213 

Go bow your troubled face 
Closer in God's embrace, 
And let His love displace 
All fears forbid. 

Your loved ones are not gone, 
Live but for God alone, 
And you shall find your own 
Upon His breast. 

Safe in the inner shrine 
Within the arms divine ; 
They are not grown less thine 
Because more blest. 



DREAM-LOSS 

WHO has not dreamed of lonely 
wandering 
Through darkling paths of woods 
that never end, 
How there will meet you suddenly a friend 
To whom if but your lifeless hands might 

cling, 
Your way would be no more companionless ; 
But he regards you not, and passes on ; 
And lo, another, while you turn, is gone 
Past you not knowing, and the loneliness 



214 SACRED POEMS 

Grows deeper, as anon a happy band 

You once were one of pass in converse sweet ; 

The sounds caress you of their accents 

bland, 
Then die away, mocking your spell-bound 

feet ; 
Faint image of the loss awaiting one 
Whose friends are friends of God, whilst he 

is none. 



HORACE SMITH 

HYMN OF THE FLOWERS 

DAY Stars ! that ope your frownless 
eyes to twinkle 
From rainbow galaxies of Earths 
creation, 
And dewdrops on her lonely altars sprinkle 
As a libation : 

Ye Matin Worshippers ! who, bending lowly 
Before the uprisen Sun, God's lidless eye, 
Throw from your chalices a sweet and holy 
Incense on high : 

Ye bright Mosaics ! that with storied beauty 
The floor of Nature's temple tesselate : 
What numerous emblems of instructive duty 
Your forms create ! 

'Neath cloistered boughs each floral bell that 

swingeth 
And tolls its perfume on the passing air 
Makes Sabbath in the fields, and ever ringeth 
A call to prayer : 

Not to the domes where crumbling arch and 

column 
Attest the feebleness of mortal hand, 
But to that fane most catholic and solemn 

Which God hath plann'd, — 

215 



216 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

To that cathedral, boundless as our wonder, 
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon 

supply, 
Its choir the winds and waves, its organ 

thunder, 

Its dome the sky. 

There, as in solitude and shade I wander 
Through the green aisles or stretch'd upon 

the sod, 
Awed by the silence, reverently ponder 
The ways of God, 

Your voiceless lips, O Flowers ! are living 

preachers, 
Each cup a pulpit and each ieaf a book, 
Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers 
From loneliest nook. 

Floral Apostles ! that in dewy splendour 

" Weep without woe and blush without a 

crime " : 
Oh, may I deeply learn, and ne'er surrender 
Your love sublime ! 

" Thou wast not, Solomon ! in all thy glory 
Array'd," the lilies cry, " in robes like ours : 
How vain your grandeur ! ah how transitory 
Are human flowers ! n 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 217 

In the sweet-scented pictures, Heavenly 
Artist ! 

With which Thou paintest Natures wide- 
spread hall, 

What a delightful lesson Thou impartest 
Of love to all ! 

Not useless are ye, Flowers ! though made 

for pleasure ; 
Blooming o'er field and wave, by day or night, 
From every source your sanction bids me 

treasure 

Harmless delight. 

Ephemeral Sages ! what instructors hoary 
For such a world of thought could furnish 

scope ? 
Each fading calyx a memento mon\ 
Yet fount of hope ! 

Posthumous Glories ! angel-like collection, 
Upraised from seed or bulb interrd in earth : 
Ye are to me a type of resurrection 
And second birth. 

Were I in churchless solitudes remaining, 
Far from all voice of teachers or divines, 
My soul would find in flowers, of God's 
ordaining, 

Priests, sermons, shrines. 



ELLIOT STOCK 

THE IMPRISONED SOUL 

I PASSED along a narrow noisy street, 
Where, just above the hurrying crowds, 
there hung 
A lark encaged, that yet right nobly sung, 
With quivering wing and ever restless feet, 
A heaven-born song towards the far-off stars. 
But, ill expressing all his heart did mean, 
Impatiently he spurned his patch of green, 
And beat his swelling breast against the bars. 
Here, said I, is a spring of worship, pent 
Within a faithful heart, by sad mischance, 
That, prisoned close through sordid circum- 
stance, 
Must needs well up and find its heavenward 

vent. 
The heaven-born soul e'en while engaged on 

earth, 
Oft carols forth in songs of heavenly mirth. 

THE SOULS FREEDOM 

I WANDERED o'er a breezy upland heath, 
'Mid incense of a myriad flowers in June: 
Where golden gorse unfolded to the 
noon, 
And sloped to where the sea crawled far 
beneath ; 

21S 



SACRED POEMS 219 

Above the undertone of minor birds, 
The larks held high their revelry of joy, 
And filled the air with one sublime envoy 
Of praise, that rose to where the blue engirds 
The throne ; and, mounting in untiring flight, 
They seemed to rise and sing, and poise above 
In thrilling ecstasy of unpent love, 
Bathed in the balm of God's eternal light. 
Here, said I, surely is the gate of heaven : 
And these the new-found songs of souls for 
given. 



RICHARD HENRY STODDARD 

BRAHMA'S ASSWER 

ONCE, when the days were ages. 
And the old Earth was young, 
The high Gods and the sages 
From Nature's golden pages 
Her open secrets wrung. 
Each questional each to know 
Whence came the Heavens above, and whence 
the Earth below. 

Indra, the endless giver 
Of every gracious thing 
The Gods to him deliver, 
Whose bounty is the river 
Of which they are the spring, — 
Indra, with anxious heart, 
Ventures with Vivochunu where Brahma is 
apart. 

44 Brahma ! Supremest Being ! 
By whom the worlds are made, — 
Where we are blind, all-seeing, — 
Stable, where we are fleeing, 
Of Life and Death afraid, — 
Instruct us, for mankind, 
What is the body, Brahma ? O Brahma ! 

what the mind ?" 

230 



SACRED POEMS 221 

Hearing as though he heard not, 
So perfect was his rest, 
So vast the Soul that err'd not, 
So wise the lips that stirr'd not, — 
His hand upon his breast 
He laid, whereat his face 
Was mirror'd in the river that girt that holy 
place. 

They question'd each the other 
What Brahma's answer meant. 
Said Vivochunu — M Brother ! 
Through Brahma the Great Mother 
Hath spoken her intent : 
Man ends as he began, — 
The shadow on the water is all there is of 
Man." 

14 The Earth with woe is cumber'd, 
And no man understands ; 
They see their days are number'd 
By One that never slumber'd 
Nor stay'd His dreadful hands. 
I see with Brahma's eyes : 
The body is the shadow that on the water 
ies. 

Thus Indra, looking deeper, 
With Brahma's self possessed. 
So dry thine eyes, thou weeper ! 



222 SACRED POEMS 

And rise again, thou sleeper ! 
The hand on Brahma's breast 
Is his divine assent 
Covering the soul that dies not. This is what 
Brahma meant. 



LORD DE TABLEY 

THE SA1ST ASD THE SUN 

I HEARD a Saint cry to the Sun — " Be dim. 
Why shouldst thou rule on high with 
boastful ray, 
Till fools adore thee as the God of Day, 
Robbing thy Master's honour due to Him? v 
But the sun-spirit, thro' each radiant limb 
Translucent as a living ember coal, 
Glowed. At the anger of the seraph soul 
His golden orb trembled from boss to rim. 

Then made he answer as a dove that sings, 
44 God's glory is my glory, and my praise 
Only His praising. They, who kneel to me, 
See thro' the waving of my orient wings 
A choir of stars with voices like the sea, 
Singing hosanna in the heavenly ways." 



223 



ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON 

IMMORTAL LOVE 

STRONG Son of God, immortal Love, 
Whom we, that have not seen Thy 
face, 
By faith, and faith alone, embrace, 
Believing where we cannot prove ; 

Thine are these orbs of light and shade ; 

Thou madest Life in man and brute ; 

Thou madest Death ; and lo, Thy foot 
Is on the skull which Thou hast made. 

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust : 
Thou madest man, he knows not why t 
He thinks he was not made to die ; 

And Thou hast made him : Thou art just. 

Thou seemest human and divine. 

The highest, holiest manhood, Thou : 
Our wills are ours, we know not how ; 

Our wills are ours, to make them Thine. 

Our little systems have their day ; 
They have their day and cease to be : 
They are but broken lights of Thee, 

And thou, O Lord, art more than they. 

224 



SACRED POEMS 225 

We have but faith : we cannot know ; 

For knowledge is of things we see ; 

And yet we trust it comes from Thee, 
A beam in darkness : let it grow. 

Let knowledge grow from more to more, 
But more of reverence in us dwell ; 
That mind and soul, according well, 

May make one music as before, 

But vaster. We are fools and slight ; 
We mock Thee when we do not fear 7 
But help Thy foolish ones to bear ; 

Help Thy vain worlds to bear Thy light. 



15 



RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH 

THE KINGDOM OF GOD 



I 



SAY to thee, do thou repeat 
To the first man thou mayest meet 
In lane, highway, or open street*— 



That he and we and all men move 

Under a canopy of love 

As broad as the blue sky above ; 

That doubt and trouble, fear and pain 
And anguish, all are shadows vain, 
That death itself shall not remain ; 

That weary deserts we may tread, 
A dreary labyrinth may thread, 
Through dark ways underground be led ; 

Yet, if we will one Guide obey, 
The dreariest path, the darkest way 
Shall issue out in heavenly day ; 

And we, on divers shores now cast, 
Shall meet, our perilous voyage past, 
All in our Father's house at last. 

And, ere thou leave him, say thou this. 
Yet one word more — they only miss 
The winning of that final bliss 

226 



SACRED POEMS 227 

Who will not count it true, that Love, 
Blessing, not cursing, rules above, 
And that in it we live and move. 

And one thing further make him know, 
That to believe these things are so, 
This firm faith never to forego, 

Despite of all which seems at strife 
With blessing, all with curses rife, 
That this is blessing, this is life. 



LORD, MANY TIMES 1 AM AWEARY 
QUITE 

LORD, many times I am aweary quite 
Of mine own self, my sin, my 
vanity — 
Yet be not Thou, or I am lost outright, 
Weary of me. 

And hate against myself I often bear, 

And enter with myself in fierce debate : 
Take Thou my part against myself, nor 
share 

In that just hate. 



228 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Best friends might loathe us, if what things 
perverse 
We know of our own selves, they also know : 
Lord, Holy One ! if Thou who knowest worse 
Shouldst loathe us too ! 



STRENGTH IN PRAYER 

LORD, what a change within us one 
short hour 
Spent in thy presence will prevail to 
make, 
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take, 
What parched grounds refresh, as with a 

shower ! 
We kneel, and all around us seems to lower ; 
We rise, and all, the distant and the near, 
Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and 

clear ; 
We kneel how weak, we rise how full of 

power. 
Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this 

wrong, 
Or others — that we are not always strong, 
That we are ever overborne with care, 
That we should ever weak or heartless be, 
Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer, 
And joy and strength and courage are with 

Thee ? 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 229 
THANKFUL LOVE 

SOME murmur when their sky is clear 
And wholly bright to view, 
If one small speck of dark appear 
In their great heaven of blue : 
And some with thankful love are filled 

If but one streak of light, 
One ray of God's good mercy, gild 
The darkness of their night. 

In palaces are hearts that ask, 

In discontent and pride, 
Why life is such a dreary task, 

And all good things denied. 
And hearts in poorest huts admire 

How Love has in their aid, 
Love that not ever seems to tire, 

Such rich provision made. 



AUBREY DE VERE 

THE AGNOSTICS QUESTION 

WHAT art thou, Life ? For some 
there are that ask, 
" Is Life worth living ? " Are we 

come to this, 
Heroic centuries past of bale or bliss, 
The Poet's song, and Patriot's solemn task ? 
The Pagan's heart itself was free to bask 
At least in Nature's joy — the laugh — the kiss — 
Life ran, a bright wine from an honest cask ; 
Hope sped her arrow gaily, hit or miss. 
Sublimer ages followed : Truth was known : 
Faith ruled. But Love grew weak by slow 

decay : 
O'er blackening ocean rushed a tempest blind : 
What wonder if a ship with mast o'erblown 
Dragged at its side, more slowly drifts this day 
Than skiffs that ne'er spread canvas to the 

wind? 



4k 



IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?" 

LIFE is a thing worth living to the 
brave 
Who fear not Fortune's spite, in 
Truth who trust ; 
Whose spirit, not thralled by pride or earth- 
ward lust, 

230 



SACRED POEMS 231 

Stands up while mortal tumults round them 

rave 
Like Teneriffe above the ocean wave ; 
Who, mailed in Duty, with divine disgust 
Recoil from frivolous joys and aims unjust, 
Nor miss rewards which Reason scorns to 

crave. 
Life is worth living to those souls of light 
Who live for others and by gift bestow 
On them the jubilant beams their own by 

right ; 
Who, knowing Life's defects, more inly know 
This Life is not the Temple but the Gate 
Where men secure of entrance watch and 

wait. 
An altar I would rear beside the Rhine, 
And by the Arno, and the Adrian Sea, 
For there, O Friends beloved, one home had 

we, 
And thence, O Friends beloved and ever mine, 
We ranged together. Alp and Apennine 
Henceforth are rich in household nooks 

to me, 
Nor wholly solitary can I be 
Whether the Palm my tent I make, or Pine. 
How large a portion of earth's populous ball 
Have you to me endeared ! Therefore less 

keen 
Sorrow one day shall prove, or Fortune's 

spleen, 



232 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Or all the ills that lonely age befall. 
Ah yes ; — and yet, had I been worthier, all 
Which was so dear still dearer might have 
been. 



QUEEN BERTHA'S MATIN SONG 

THE morning star was rising, 
O'er ocean's tremulous crystal hung ; 
His bright feet touched the billow, 
His glance o'er earth he flung ; 
On the young Queen he played, 
Yet warm and disarrayed, 

As, leaping lightly from her pillow, 
The golden harp she swayed. 
Hide not the clouds among, 
Brightest star, and fairest ! 
Until her song those heavens along 
Between thy wings thou bearest. 

"Thou that on my dreams 

All night long wert beaming, 
Oer shining leaves and silver streams 

Brighter now art gleaming ; 
Every fountain hath 

Light thy keen smiles give her ; 
In every bay-leaf's dewy bath 

Thy soft swift glances quiver." 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 233 

Hide not the clouds among, 

Brightest star and fairest ! 
Until her song those heavens along 

Between thy wings thou bearest. 

M Heaven doth laugh above, 

Earth below is gay, 
And souls that walk 'twixt light and love 

Shall walk in joy alway, 
White as yon lily sweet, 

That springs, while cold airs fan it, 
A virgin spouse her mate to greet 
In thee, glad matin Planet ! " 
Hide not the clouds among 
Brightest star and fairest ! 
Until her song those heavens along 
Between thy wings thou bearest. 

" All the starry hosts 

And all the angelic band 
At once o'er all the ethereal coasts 
Leaped forth at God's command ; 
But surely from afar 

Twas thee men saw on high, 
When darkness fled before the star 
Of Christ's Nativity." 

Hide not the clouds among, 
Brightest star and fairest ! 
Until her song those heavens along 
Between thy wings thou bearest. 



234 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

"When the earth was made 

Stars and angels sang ; 
When Christ was in the manger laid 

More loud the anthem rang ; 
But louder yet those choirs 

The last great morn shall blend 
Their heavenly songs and heavenly fires, 
While thou dost last ascend." 
Hide not the clouds among, 
Brightest star and fairest ! 
Until her song those heavens along 
Between thy wings thou bearest. 



THE QUEEN'S VESPERS 

HALF kneeling yet, and half reclining, 
She held her harp against her 
knees : 
Aloft the roofs were shining 

And sunset touched the trees. 
From the gold border gleamed like snow 
Her foot : a crown enriched her brow : 
Dark gems confined that crimson vest 
Close-moulded on her neck and breast. 

In silence lay the cloistral court 

And shadows of the convent towers 
Well ordered now in stately sort 
Those roval halls and bowers. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 235 

The choral chaunt had just swept by — 
Bright arms lay quivering yet on high : 
Thereon the warriors gazed, and then 
Glanced lightly at the Queen again. 

While from her lip the wild hymn floated 

Such grace in those uplifted eyes 
And sweet, half absent looks, they noted 

That, surely, through the skies 
A Spirit, they deemed flew forward ever 
Above that song's perpetual river. 
And, smiling from its joyous track 
Upon her heavenly face looked back. 

THE QUEEN'S VIGIL 

BENEATH and round her queenly bower 
So tall the garden pageants grew 
With every breeze each moon-lit 
flower 
Was waved the casement through : 
White in the radiance glanced the fawn ; 
Flitted the hare from lawn to lawn 
By close, broad firs, that flecked the sheen, 
And barred with black and silver green. 

Far off, like mighty cliffs, their shade 
Over a waste of waves that cast 

The castle walls o'er wood and glade 
Flung down their darkness vast. 



236 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Answering a monarch's joyous call, 
Far realms were met in festival : 
There flocked the noble and the fair — 
The fairest, noblest was not there. 

And yet for her no flowers were blowing ; 

No listening dell or vale profound 
Enjoyed her breath : for her was flowing 

Nor glassy stream, nor stream of sound : 
In vain her song the night-bird squandered, 
The winds that through her chamber wandered 
And o'er her pillow brushed serene 
But found the place where she had been ! 

The Moon whose glory swelled with light 

Each lilied slope and laurelled mound 
With touch more sharp and exquisite 

Defined one rock cross-crowned. 
Like argent flames or spires of frost 
Uprose that shape of stone, embossed 
With breeze-worn sculptures quaint and mild 
Of Maid and Angel, King and Child. 

There on her knees the Queen was praying : 

On that cold marble leaned her breast ; 
Prayer after prayer devoutly saying 

With palms together pressed. 
There for her lord she prayed aloud, 
Prayed for her people, blind and proud — 
That Heaven would chase away their night, 
That God would bathe his heart in light ! 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 237 

THE QUEERS ALMS 

GLAD as that thrill some princely birth 
With hushed yet rapturous omen 
gracing 
The stir as from her palace forth 

The young fair Queen came pacing : 
But here no pompous guard was set ; 

No flattering concourse flocked around : 
The poor about her gate were met : 
The readiest place the poorest found. 

Like youthful angels all alert 

That Queen dispensed her bounteous load ; 
On those whom keenest fates had hurt 

Her earliest gifts bestowed. 
Her face the maniac's rage beguiled ; 

She turned her now among the ring 
And paused, above a poor blind child 

The sweetest of her songs to sing ; 

Kind gifts to some, kind words to more, 

Kind looks to each and all she gave, 
Which on with them through life they bore 

And down into their grave. 
Around her feet the children crept 

And kissed the grass those feet had trod ; 
Sad eyes that many a year had wept 

With tears of gladness gemmed the sod. 



238 SACRED POEMS 

The chiming of the convent bells 

Called her at last away to prayer : 
Farewell she smiled on their farewells — 

And turned ; when, unaware, 
An old grey man with hands outspread 

She marked low-bent on quivering knee : 
Over his brow she stooped and said, 

"A kiss is all I have for thee." 



REV. JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE 

SIGHT Ai\D DEATH 

MYSTERIOUS Night, when our first 
parent knew 
Thee by report Divine, and heard 
thy name, 
Did he not tremble for this goodly frame, 
This glorious canopy of light and blue ? 
But through a curtain of translucent dew, 
Hesperus with the host of heaven came, 
Bathed in the hues of the great setting 

flame, 
And lo ! Creation broadened to man's view. 
Who could have guessed such darkness 

lay concealed 
Within thy beams, O Sun, or who 

divined, 
When flower, and leaf, and insect lay 

revealed, 
Thou to such countless worlds hadst 

made us blind? 
Why should we then shun death with 

anxious strife ? 
If Light could thus deceive, wherefore 
not Life ? 

Coleridge wrote of this as "the finest and most grandly 
conceived sonnet in our language," and Leigh Hunt says : 
"In point of thought, this sonnet stands supreme, perhaps 
above all in any language. Nor can we ever ponder it too 
deeply, or with too thoughtful a reverence." 

239 




WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 

LA T1TUD1KAR1AMSM 

YET Truth is keenly sought for, and 
the wind 
Charged with rich words poured out 
in thought's defence ; 
Whether the Church inspire that eloquence, 
Or a Platonic Piety confined 
To the sole temple of the inward mind ; 
And One there is who builds immortal lays, 
Though doomed to tread in solitary ways, 
Darkness before and danger's voice behind ; 
Yet not alone, nor helpless to repel 
Sad thoughts ; for from above the starry 

sphere 
Come secrets, whispered nightly to his ear ; 
And the pure spirit of celestial light 
Shines through his soul — "that he may see 

and tell 
Of things invisible to mortal sight." 



240 



ANONYMOUS 

THE TH1SKER AND THE DOER 

ONE sits at home, with pale, impassive 
brow, 
Bent on the eloquence of lifeless 
letters ; 
Noting man's thoughts from Mind's first 
dawn, till now, 
When Truth seems, Heaven-inspired, to 
burst her fetters. 

Another plies the force of stalwart limbs, 
And keen wit sharpened by the whirl of 
action ; 
For midnight lore no studious lamp he trims, 
Curtain'd and muffled from the world's dis- 
traction. 

Two destinies — converging to one end, 
The glorious issue of all human labour ; 

Where in harmonious union softly blend 
The praise of God, the profit of our neigh- 
bour. 

Each has his gift— the stamp affix'd at birth, 
That marks him tor the servant of a 
Master, 
The chosen Steward of His realm of Earth, 
The shepherd watching for a higher Pastor. 

16 241 



242 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

Each has his crown — of earthly laurels here, 
Gather' d and woven by the hand of 
mortals ; 
And when the Spirit-City's towers appear, 
Dropped on his brows by angels at its 
portals. 

Judge not which serves his mighty Master 
best, 
Haply thou mightest be true worth's de- 
tractor ; 
For each obeys his Nature's high behest, — 
The close-pent thinker and the busy actor. 



THE PA TH OF FAITH 

PERCHANCE thou deemest it is hard 
To have no foresight of thy life, 
Unwarned, thy doubtful feet to guard 
From wandering in the paths of strife ; 
But though thou hast no prescient sense, 
Thou hast a watching Providence. 

With trustful labour weave the web 
Of high emprise and noble deed ; 

Heedless if life should flow or ebb, 
Let bravely doing be thy creed ; 

That Faith will make thee happier far 

Than if thou read'st each glistening star. 



NINETEENTH CENTURY 243 

Should stormy fortune lurk behind 

Thy curtain'd Fate, and darkly loom — 

Thank God thou canst not feel the wind, 
Nor hear the distant thunder boom ; 

The tempest, with soft breezes blent, 

May, ere it reaches thee, be spent. 

Should brilliant sunshine bursting there 
Upon thee, sudden and sublime, 

Instant reflection of its glare 
Might haply blind thee for the time, 

By pouring on thy dazzled sight 

Rays of intolerable light ; 

But Faith will nerve thee for the fight 
Against misfortune's darkening power ; 

And flood thy road with tempered light, 
Until thou reach, in Heaven, that hour 

When Prescience shall be thine at will — 

Prescience of good unmixed with ill. 



THE GROWTH OF GOOD 



F 



AR where the smooth Pacific swells, 
Beneath an arch of blue, 
Where sky and wave together meet, 
A coral reeflet grew. 



244 SACRED POEMS OF THE 

No mortal eye espied it there, 
Nor sea-bird poised on high ; 

Lonely it sprang, and lonely grew, 
The nursling of the sky. 

With soft-caressing touch, the wind 
In summer round it play'd ; 

And murmuring through its tiny caves, 
Unceasing music made. 

The ministering wind, so sweet 
With mountain perfume, brought 

A changeful robe of emerald moss, 
By fairy fingers wrought. 

Thus day by day, and year by year, 

The little islet grew ; 
Its food, the flower-dust wafted by ; 

Its drink, the crystal dew. 

By night the lonely stars look'd forth, 
Each from his watch-tower high, 

And smiled a loving blessing down, 
Gently and silently. 



And forest birds from distant isles, 

A moment settled there, 
And from their plumage shook the seeds, 

Then sprang into the air. 






NINETEENTH CENTURY 245 

The islet grew, and tender plants 

Rose up amidst the dearth — 
BloonVd, died, and dropt upon the soil, 

Like gifts from Heaven to earth. 

Thus ages passd ; a hundred trees 
Graced that once barren strand ; 

A hundred ships its produce bore 
To many a distant land. 

And thus in every human heart 

A germ of good is sown, 
Whose strivings upwards to the light 

Are seen by God alone. 



INDEX OF AUTHORS AND 
POEjMS 

Adams, Sarah Flower page 

Nearer, my God to Thee . . .11 

Arnold, Sir Edwin 

Extracts from " The Light of the 
World" 13 

Arnold, Mathew 

Progress 17 

Self-Dependence 19 

Stagirius 21 

East London 23 

Immortality 24 

Alexander, C. F. 

The Cave of Machpelah ... 25 

The Creation 28 

Rahab 30 

Austin, Alfred 

Is Life Worth Living? ... 33 

Banks, Edward 

On a Grave, not of this Century . 37 
A Carol for Christmas Eve . . 38 

247 



248 INDEX 

Benson, Arthur Christopher PAGE 

Evensong 41 

One by One 42 

When Punctual Dawn ... 43 

Binney, Rev. Thomas 

Eternal Light 44 

Bonar, Dr. 

Be True 46 

Borthwick, Jane 

Rest, weary Soul 47 

Bronte, Anne 

In Memory of a Happy Day in 

February 49 

The Narrow Way .... 51 

The Penitent 53 

Bronte, Charlotte 

Winter Stores 34 

Bronte, Emily 

Last Lines 57 

Brooke, Rev. R. S., D.D. 

Light and Shade 59 






INDEX 249 

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett page 

Comfort 62 

Cheerfulness taught by Reason. . 62 

Discontent 63 

The Sleep 64 

Bryant, William Cullen 

Thanatopsis 67 

M Blessed are they that Mourn " . 70 

Buckley, Rev. R. W., D.D. 

Twilight Sorrow 72 

Lent 73 

Burbidge, Thomas 

At Divine Disposal .... 75 

Bushby, Anne S. 

Christ's Invitation 76 

Clough, Arthur Hugh 

" O thou of little Faith "... . 78 

Davis, Thomas 

God is Love ,79 

Dobson, Austin 

Before Sedan 82 



250 INDEX 

Dowden, Professor Edward page 

Seeking God 84 

Communion 84 

Drennan, Dr. 

The Heaven of Heavens cannot con- 
tain ....... 86 

Dyson, Charles 

O Lamp of Life 87 

Eliot, George 

The Death of Moses . 88 

Faber, Rev. Frederick William 

Music 94 

Come to Jesus 98 

The Right must Win ... 100 

Fowler, Ellen Thorneycroft 

Loss and Gain 104 

Means and End 105 

A Wish 106 

The Breton Fishermen's Prayer . 106 
Stream and Lake . . . .107 

No Room 108 

Wulfruna's Hampton .... 109 
Sunshine and Shadow . . .109 



INDEX 251 

Fowler, Ellen Thorneycroft — Con- page 

tinucd 

In Memoriam 110 

Purple and Gold 112 

M Gold and Frankincense and 
Myrrh" . * . . . .114 

The Hermit 117 

Imperfections 119 

Furlong, Thomas 

Oh ! if the Atheist's Words were 
True 121 

Gale, Norman 

Before Sleep 122 

Dawn and Dark 123 

A Prayer 123 

Gallienne, Richard le 

The Second Crucifixion . . .125 

Grant, Sir Robert 

When Gathering Clouds . . . 127 

Havergal, Frances Ridley 

July on the Mountains . . .129 

Hawker, Robert Stephen 

The Child Jesus 130 



252 



INDEX 



Hayes Alfred 


PAGE 


My Study 


. 131 


On the Mountains 


. 133 


Christmas Carol .... 


. 134 


The Silent Harp .... 


. 135 


The Last Crusade 


. 136 


Extract from "The Storming 


of 


Nazareth" 


137 


Holmes, Oliver Wendell 




The Chambered Nautilus . 


. 139 




, 140 


Hunt, Leigh 




Abou Ben Adhem 


. 142 



Jennings, Rev. John A. 

Rest 143 

Johnson, E. Pauline (Tekahionwake) 

Christmastide 144 

Brier 145 

Penseroso 145 

Keble, Rev. John 

The Twenty-fourth Sunday after 

Trinity 147 

The Fourth Sundav in Lent . .149 



I 



INDEX 233 

Longfellow, Henry \V. rAGE 

The Day is Done 152 

The Legend Beautiful .... 154 
The Two Angels 158 

Lowell, J. Russell 

Sonnet 161 

Lyte, Henry Francis 

Abide with Me 162 

He is Mine 163 

MacDonald, George, LL.D. 

A Dream of the Cross . . . 166 
Three Sonnets from u Within and 
Without" 168 

Marston, Philip Bourke 

To-morrow 180 

After Love's Passing . . . .180 

Matheson, Rev. George, D.D. 

O Love that wilt not let me go .171 

M., B. 

Desolate 172 



254 INDEX 

Moulton, Louise Chandler page 

Selfish Prayer 183 

Newman, John Henry 

Lead, Kindly Light .... 184 

Nicoll, Robert 

A Thought 185 

Noel, Baptist Wriothesley 

There's not a Bird .... 186 

Parker, Gilbert 

Little Garaine 188 

Paton, Sir No£l 

" Timor Mortis Conturbat Me". . 189 

Night Thoughts 190 

A Christmas Carol . . . .191 

Pollock, Rev. T. B. 



My Friends in Paradise 


. 196 


"Saviour most Loving' 1 


. 200 


Procter, Adelaide Anne 




Friend Sorrow 


. 202 


My God, 1 thank Thee 


. 203 



INDEX 253 

Procter, Adelaide Anne — Continued PAGE 
Per Paceni ad Lucem .... 204 
Strive, Wait, and Pray . . . 205 

A First Sorrow 206 

Sowing and Reaping .... 208 
The Peace of God . .209 

If thou couldst know . . . .210 



Ryder, Rev. H. I. D. 

Animae Fidelium . 
Dream-Loss . 



212 
. 213 



Smith, Horace 

Hymn of the Flowers 



. 215 



Stock, Elliot 

The Imprisoned Soul 
The Soul's Freedom 



. 218 
. 218 



Stoddard, Richard Henry 
Brahma's Answer 



. 220 



Tabley, Lord de 

The Saint and the Sun 



. 223 



Tennyson, Alfred, Lord 
Immortal Love 



. 224 



256 



INDEX 



Trench, Richard Chenevix pag e 

The Kingdom of God .... 226 

Lord, many times I am aweary quite 227 

Strength in Prayer .... 228 

Thankful Love 229 



re, Aubrey de 




The Agnostic's Question 


. 230 


Is Life Worth Living ? 


. 230 


Queen Bertha's Matin Song 


. 232 


The Queen's Vespers . 


. 234 


The Queen's Vigil 


. 235 


The Queen's Alms 


. 237 



White, Rev. Joseph Blanco 
Night and Death . 



239 



Wordsworth, William 
Latitudinarianism . 



240 



Anonymous 

The Thinker and the Doer 
The Path of Faith 
The Growth of Good . 



241 
242 
243